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TMJ Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

tmj treatment Dr. Aaron Goodman Dr. Matthew Young Dr. Aaron English. Prairie Hawk Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Preventative Family Dentistry. Dentist in Castle Rock, CO 80109

Are you in pain from your TMJ? Prairie Hawk Dental can help! We provide all the dental care your smile needs, including cosmetic and general dentistry. We include many essential services you won’t find at your average dentist’s office, including TMJ treatment. And if you don’t know about your TMJ, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Spreading awareness about TMJ is an excellent way to help patients get the relief they need and the focus behind TMJ Awareness Month.

 

November Is TMJ Awareness Month

Prairie Hawk Dental would like to take this opportunity to educate our patients and potential patients about this critical issue. TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, and it is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side, allowing you to speak, chew, and yawn.

 

What are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

The symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include the following:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw, neck, or shoulders
  • Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
  • Earache or pain in the ear
  • Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when moving the jaw 
  • Headache or migraine headaches

 

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

Several different factors can contribute to the development of TMJ disorder. Some of the most common causes include:

Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)

Many people grind or clench their teeth without even realizing it. While it may seem like a harmless habit, bruxism can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Over time, the constant grinding can cause TMJ problems and wear down tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay. It can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and other issues. If you think you might be grinding your teeth at night, there are a few things you can do to help prevent the damage. First, try to avoid eating hard foods or chewing on ice cubes. You should also avoid clenching your jaw during the day. If you catch yourself doing it, take a deep breath and relax your muscles. If these measures don’t help, we can develop custom mouthguards and other treatments. Don’t let bruxism ruin your smile – take steps to protect your teeth today.

Arthritis or other inflammatory conditions

Another common cause of TMJ disorder is arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. These conditions can damage the cartilage and soft tissues in your jaw, leading to pain, stiffness, and difficulty with jaw movement.

Poor alignment of the teeth or jaws

Your teeth and jaw have to be in perfect alignment for your TMJ to function correctly. If there is an imbalance between your upper and lower jaw, it can lead to problems with your TMJ. This is why regular dental checkups are so important – if one of our dentists notices a problem, they can take steps to correct it before it leads to further complications.

Trauma to the head or face

Injuries to the head or face, such as those caused by motor vehicle accidents, can also lead to TMJ disorder. If you have been in a recent accident, make sure to schedule an appointment with us so that we can check your jaw for any signs of damage.

Stress

Stress can also cause TMJ disorder, leading to bruxism and other jaw-related habits. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, try to focus on relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.

 

TMJ Treatment in Castle Rock, Colorado

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we encourage you to make an appointment with us so that Dr. Aaron Goodman, Dr. Matthew Young, Dr. Aaron English, and the Prairie Hawk Dental team can help you get relief. We will work with you to benefit from pain relief and restore jaw functionality.

Our TMJ Therapy is a unique and customized treatment plan that will get you back to living your life. With our help, you’ll be able to eat, sleep, and laugh without pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.