Prosthetic Dentistry of Olympia offers hope for your hurting jaw using Olympia TMJ treatment. Like he has for many other happy patients, Dr. Rick Jude can help you:Doctor Rick Jude on teeth grinding Read Transcript
The biggest issue with chronic jaw pain is the proper diagnosis. Getting to that diagnosis can take some time. First part is to do a good exam to determine is the problem muscular, such as myofacial pain disorder, or is the problem internal to the joints? Often even with minor joint issues, the problem can be alleviated or at least greatly reduced by a really good night guard, a really good bite guard for the people to wear.
Now, some part of us, the human race, are clenchers and grinders. Now the percentage or the ratio who are clenchers, grinders, the idea of that number changes over time, but I think now we're thinking around 30, 35 percent are just clenchers and grinders. We know that stressful periods in life can cause that to go up, or to cause people who are not extreme clenchers and grinders to begin to do so. We know that sleep disorders may have something to do with it. So there are lots of different issues, causes, things that may cause it to be worse or not so bad over your lifetime.
Some people grind so much that they can literally destroy their teeth by either grinding them one against the other, like a wheel grinding against another wheel over time. Some people have such strong jaws that they can literally fracture their teeth just by squeezing their jaws together and grinding, and they do it at night. Most people who are grinders look at me and go, “I don't grind my teeth,” even though the evidence is clearly there that they are a clencher or a grinder.
If caught early enough, we can often greatly reduce the side effect of tooth wear by having someone wear a night guard. The important thing and the difficult thing is that the human jaw moves like no other joint in the body, and a night guard has to have in many cases a good solid, equalized bite on all the remaining teeth. Sometimes it doesn't. Under some circumstances with certain joint problems, you want more bite on the back teeth. Under some circumstances, you want more bite on the front teeth. So it's according to the situation that that individual person has.
- Determine the cause and treatment for jaw pain and tenderness
- Reduce the of frequency and intensity of headaches
- Avoid tooth enamel damage caused by teeth grinding
Get the jaw pain relief you’ve been searching for with a custom mouthguard or other professional treatment! Call our team today at 360-229-5861 to schedule an appointment.
Enjoy a Better-Feeling Jaw
TMJ is not a disease. TMJ simply stands for temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your head. These joints allow your lower jaw to move when talking, eating, and yawning. However, when these joints become irritated (for reasons researchers don’t yet know with certainty), these activities can cause you a great deal of pain.
Fortunately, Dr. Jude knows how to diagnose and treat TMJ symptoms. He and our team will work with you on an individual basis to determine the source of your pain, then develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Sometimes, over-worn or over-worked teeth can be the source of the problem. In those cases, it may be helpful to rebuild the biting surfaces to decrease TMJ problems. Using dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, or tooth bonding, we can align your bite if needed, bringing it into better harmony with your jaw joints.
Generally, a custom mouthguard (also called a night guard or bite splint) is the first step to determining the cause and possible treatment for TMJ discomfort. Depending on your needs, we can make these in-house or have our lab craft one for you. Careful evaluation and proper use of a night guard may be the only treatment needed in some circumstances.
If Dr. Jude determines that your TMJ pain would be better treated by another specialist, we can arrange your care so that you receive the most beneficial treatment. Our goal is to help you feel great and keep your smile healthy.