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What Might Be Behind Your TMJ Pain

May 31, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Roberto Monteagudo
Man with Toothache | Dentist Milwaukee WI

Managing jaw pain and discomfort on a daily basis can be exhausting, especially since it often affects more than just your joints. TMJ (temporomandibular) disorders can cause headaches, muscle soreness and inflammation, teeth sensitivity, and even neck or shoulder pain.

While we sometimes do not know the cause of TMJ disorders, a few main issues might be the cause. To know for certain, we recommend TMJ evaluation and treatment in our Milwaukee, WI dental office.

You Grind Your Teeth

Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, overworks jaw muscles and causes inflammation. If your partner has never told you that you grind your teeth during sleep, you could be completely unaware of the problem. 

Some common signs point to teeth grinding habit.

  • Bite marks along the insides of the cheeks
  • Worn or short-looking teeth
  • Bony growths under the tongue
  • Sensitive or sore teeth

Because of the strained muscles, the jaw joints might not seat properly and click, pop, or even lock.

Oftentimes, relaxing the muscles will relieve the pressure on the joints. Exercises, medication, or a TMJ splint can be the first steps to helping muscles relax.

You Have a Misaligned Bite

Misaligned teeth may cause malocclusion, or a bad bite. When you bite down, your teeth should come together evenly, and your mouth can close comfortably. High points on natural teeth or restorations can keep teeth from coming together correctly and impact how the jaw functions.

By adjusting the surfaces of the teeth and checking the bite, we can eliminate this problem. Orthodontic treatment also provides a solution for patients with significant misalignment issues.

You Have Arthritis

You can develop arthritis in any joint – including the jaw. Treating arthritis with your primary care doctor can alleviate, or at least manage, the pain in your jaw joints.

If you believe you might benefit from TMJ treatment and you are in the Milwaukee, WI area, contact Wisconsin Smiles to set up an exam. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Robert Monteagudo, will help you regain comfort and an improved quality of life.

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