TMJ/Occlusion 2019-01-09T20:22:54+00:00

TMJ/Occlusion

Learn More About TMJ!

Temporal Joint (TMJ)

At Cherry Creek Family Dental, we’re proud of our comprehensive approach to ensuring the greatest possible oral health for every patient, as well our dedication to creating and maintaining beautiful smiles.  We’re concerned with more than just how straight and white your teeth are – we also want to make sure that your bite is properly aligned to avoid pain and mishaps like cracked or chipped teeth.

 This is why we pay close attention to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and your particular occlusion, or the way the surfaces of your teeth fit together and function.  When patients suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or improper occlusion, it can lead to temporary, intermittent, or chronic pain conditions and pave the way for serious oral health concerns.  The trained and experienced professionals at Cherry Creek Family Dental are more than qualified to diagnose and treat such issues.

Your temporomandibular joints, located on either side of the jaw, connect the jaw bone to your skull so that you can open and close your mouth.  These hinged joints are unique in that they can slide, allowing your jaw a range of motion that not only goes up and down, but also side to side and forward and backward.

 Unfortunately, the disc that cushions the joint may become deteriorated, damaged, or displaced due to injury, illness, aging, or conditions like bruxism (clenching and grinding).  This is known as TMD.  When this occurs, you may experience a number of undesirable symptoms, such as:

– Discomfort, aching, or pain in the jaw, face, ears, or neck, especially when chewing

– Clicking, popping, or grating noises when opening and closing the jaw

– Trouble chewing

– Difficulty opening your mouth wide

– A jaw that gets “locked” in the open or closed position

– and more

Grinding and clenching are common indications of a problem. If these habits continue there can be resulting damage to the enamel that protects the inner layers of the tooth from being infected with harmful bacteria. Don’t let the symptoms go on too long before seeking professional treatment.

Our doctors look for symptoms that include difficulty opening and closing the mouth, complaints of headache, facial pain or swelling, or any unusual difficulty chewing.

When your teeth and/or jaws are not properly aligned, your upper and lower bite may not match up when you chew, talk, or sleep, or when your mouth is inactive.  This is known as malocclusion and it can be a contributing factor in the onset of TMD.  It can also cause you to unwittingly clench or grind teeth, and possibly lead to cracks, chips, and more serious oral health concerns.

As part of your treatment for TMD symptoms, the experienced professionals at Cherry Creek Family Dental will begin by pinpointing and addressing malocclusion that may be the root cause.  Such treatments could include straightening teeth or treating conditions responsible for malocclusion, such as injuries, impacted teeth, or prior dental work at other offices that affected bite patterns without your knowledge.

If there is evidence of bruxism that is causing harm to teeth (premature wear, chipping, cracks, etc.) and potentially causing TMD, we can explore options like night guards or Botox injections that will ease symptoms and allow you to resume normal activities.  The caring professionals at Cherry Creek Family Dental are dedicated to helping you find the best possible solutions for your every dental concern.

There are a few home remedies that can be successful in some instances. However, if relaxation methods or over the counter medications aren’t working for you call our Cherry Creek Family Dental office to arrange a consultation.   Dealing with the continuing pain that will only get worse can become incapacitating, not to mention the possibility of serious damage being done to your teeth.

Our dental professionals can offer pain relieving techniques to make patients more comfortable, advice changes in diet to include foods that are easier to chew, and recommend proven methods to strengthen jaw muscles. They may suggest a custom made mouth guard for nighttime use and can talk to you about possible orthodontic treatment. A lot will depend on the cause of the disorder and the extent of the damage.

“Love this office, everyone is so friendly, it’s actually pleasant to come to the dentist. They also really go the extra mile to help you with dental insurance claims.”

 – Allison McMurtry

Pain Free Dentistry

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Disorders of the Temporal Joint (TMJ) affect the control of muscle and jaw movement as well as the proper alignment of your teeth.  Grouped together they are known as TMD (temporomandibular disorder).

Our doctors look for symptoms that include difficulty opening and closing the mouth, complaints of headache, facial pain or swelling, or any unusual difficulty chewing.

There are a few home remedies that can be successful in some instances.  However, if relaxation methods or over the counter medications aren’t working for you call our Cherry Creek Family Dental office to arrange a consultation.   Dealing with the continuing pain that will only get worse can become incapacitating, not to mention the possibility of serious damage being done to your teeth.

Grinding and clenching are common indications of a problem.  If these habits continue there can be resulting damage to the enamel that protects the inner layers of the tooth from being infected with harmful bacteria.  Don’t let the symptoms go on too long before seeking professional treatment.

Our dental professionals can offer pain relieving techniques to make patients more comfortable, advise changes in diet to include foods that are easier to chew, and recommend proven methods to strengthen jaw muscles.  They may suggest a custom made mouthguard for nighttime use and can talk to you about possible orthodontic treatment.  A lot will depend on the cause of the disorder and the extent of the damage.

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Michael Watkins

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