Mouth Guards

Do you suffer from…

  • Frequent headaches?
  • Tender jaw muscles?
  • Pain in or around the ear?
  • Clicking or popping noises in the jaw?
  • Pain when yawning or chewing?
  • Does your jaw muscles lock or stray to one side when you open your mouth?

The cause of such pain could be related to the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint, often referred to as TMJ, and the muscles that work to move the joint.  

What Causes TMD?

Several conditions may be linked with TMD.  These conditions include:

  • Jaw or head injuries
  • Tooth grinding
  • Anxiety and/or stress
  • Diseases that affect the muscles or joints, such as arthritis

To determine how best to treat your TMD, a complete evaluation is recommended.  Dr. Beussink will check the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving.  

Treatment Options

For some patients, the disorders may disappear by themselves; for others, they may come and go, or may worsen over time. TMD disorders are often managed, rather than cured.  

There are a number of ways in which TMD may be managed. Success likely will require you and your dentist working together to find the best approach that relieves your symptoms.  

Treatment may involve a series of steps. The step-by-step plan will allow you to try simple treatment before moving on to something that is more involved.  Experts generally recommend a “less is often best” approach to treating TM disorders. This means that the simplest treatment that provides you with pain relief may be the best for you.  

Things the patient can do on their own to alleviate discomfort:

  • Eat softer foods and avoid foods that cause symptoms
  • Minimize extreme jaw movements, such as yawning, yelling or singing
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Practice relaxation techniques to control jaw tension, such as meditation

Things your dentist may recommend to relieve your symptoms:

  • Exercises to strengthen jaw muscles
  • Medicines to reduce pain and inflammation
  • A night guard to decrease clenching or grinding teeth
     

 

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