Nixa dentist Dr. Jacob McLauchlin offers comprehensive dental services, including diagnosis and treatment for complex adult dental problems such as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Commonly called TMJ, a TMD can have a variety of causes, most of which are related to an imbalance in the bite which puts undue pressure on the jaw joints. This often results in pain, headaches, and clicking or popping of the jaw point. TMJ can also lead to teeth grinding and/or clenching which can cause damage to the teeth and gums over time.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
In almost all cases, a TMJ disorder will cause tooth wear and may contribute to tooth decay and/or (gum) disease.
Common TMJ Symptoms include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, often characterized by tooth wear
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Limited mobility in the jaw
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
Treatment for TMJ
Mouth Guard and Splint Therapy
As a conservative option, Dr. McLauchlin often recommends the use of a bite guard or dental splint to alleviate specific symptoms of TMJ disorder. A mouth guard or splint is often a first step, used early in treatment and not needed as a long term solution. A dental split can be helpful to help identify a comfortable and stable bite position.
Bite Correction Therapy
This process is a series of adjustments made to the teeth which may include:
- Removing tooth structure
- Applying dental crowns or porcelain veneers
- Orthodontic treatment
- Implant dentistry
If the teeth are not in proper position, orthodontics may be needed to reposition the teeth, allowing them to fit together harmoniously. Dr. McLauchlin is an Invisalign provider and may recommend this orthodontic treatment option when appropriate for restoring balance to the bite and supporting long term dental health.
In cases where teeth have been significantly worn and damaged restorative dentistry may be needed to bring the teeth back to their proper health and beauty. Dr. McLauchlin may use dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic tooth bonding to restore teeth.