Waking up in the mornings isn’t like it used to be. In addition to brewing that morning pot of coffee and hitting the shower, you’re also waking up with pain in your face.
It’s a chronic, dull ache that flares up whenever you try to speak or attempt to chew your favorite foods. It is even getting to the point where it’s affecting your sleep and causing you headaches, particularly right after you wake up.
Looking in the mirror, you’ve noticed that your face is getting puffier, particularly around your jaw.
if this sounds too familiar, then you could be suffering from a debilitating craniofacial syndrome known as TMJ disorder. Also called temporomandibular joint disorder, this painful condition can arise when the joint which connects your jaw to your skull becomes dislodged.
A number of different factors can cause this to happen to you, including an oral injury or constant teeth grinding, and the symptoms are downright scary if you value being able to to speak, smile, or eat. In some advanced cases of TMJ disorder, the piece of cartilage that normally serves as a barrier between your jawbone and your skull can completely erode, causing the bones to literally grind against one another every time you try to open or close your mouth.
As you can probably imagine, this can make a normal range of jaw motion impossible without experiencing excruciating pain. If you’re already dealing with this, then you don’t need to use your imagination at all.
In either case, you need a Nashua dentist who has the skill and the equipment to help you to correct this terrible condition before extensive oral surgery may be required.
More Bite Than Bark
In a great many cases, I can successfully treat TMJ disorder with a small piece of plastic.
It’s not a magic trick; it’s science.
But first thing’s first: You must schedule an appointment with me so that I can properly examine what’s going on inside of your smile. I will take a series of X-ray images of the joint from multiple angles to determine the extent of your TMJ, as well as to help me figure out how to best treat it.
And that small piece of plastic I mentioned? More specifically, my office can create a custom-fitted mouthguard like the kind you see professional athletes wear in order to offset the pressures and current alignment of your jaw.
Constructed from a highly durable thermoplastic, you’ll wear this mouthguard during the day and at night. Because the mouthguard is designed to offset the incorrect alignment of your jaw based on those X-rays, it will slowly realign your jaw back into the temporomandibular joint.
It is an elegant and painless solution to a serious problem, and one that is possible thanks to advances in restorative dentistry.
There is an additional benefit to this method of treatment in that it tackles a related problem which can contribute to TMJ disorder. As I mentioned earlier, teeth grinding (a.k.a. bruxism) can cause your jaw to come out of alignment as a result of the constant forces
You won’t have to deal with all of that terrible pain in your face and in your neck anymore, and you’ll be able to enjoy the full range of motion that most people simply take for granted.
However, the longer you go without getting treatment, then the less likely it is that this non-invasive TMJ treatment will be able to work for you. Of course, this is true only for the most advanced TMJ disorder cases I encounter, which usually means you can’t open or close your mouth at all.
But if you’re already suffering from TMJ disorder, then you could already be well on your way to such a drastic point.
Make An Appointment Now
You can’t wait around and hope that the pain goes away, otherwise you could lose your ability to smile.
There is no need for your jaw pain to get to that point, so I urge you to call me at 603-546-7460 to schedule an appointment to get your X-rays in order and begin the healing process with a TMJ treatment plan.
If it already hurts to talk, simply click here to request an appointment with us online, and we’ll get back to you right away!