Our Medford TMJ Dentist Helps Patients Support Whole-Mouth Health

by Dr. Vareldzis

For many of us, when we think about oral health problems, we think about things like cavities and chipped teeth. Undoubtedly, these are serious oral health issues, but there are other, less visible, dental issues that can be just as damaging. One of these is TMJ disorder.

TMJ refers to “temporomandibular joint.” Your TMJs are the joints at either side of your head that connect your lower jaw to your skull. TMJs allow your lower jaw to move, so that you can chew, speak, yawn, and more.  

When these joints are damaged, irritated, or poorly aligned, they can cause a number of unwanted symptoms like jaw pain, ear pain, jaw clicking, and limited jaw mobility. The real problem, however, lies when TMJ disorder is left untreated; the stress that TMJ dysfunction puts on your smile can lead to a number of more serious oral health issues over time:

  • Jaw damage
  • Premature tooth deterioration/wear and tear
  • Shifting dental alignment

If you are suffering from TMJ problems, then it is likely that your smile is unbalanced in some way. This underlying dysfunction needs to be addressed so that your top and bottom teeth can come together comfortably and naturally; this will take the stress off of your TMJ joint.

Sometimes, our Medford TMJ dentist recommends that patients undergo orthodontic treatment in order to achieve dental harmony. Alternatively, you may benefit from utilizing dental bonding or porcelain restorations on select teeth, as these treatments can refine your bite surfaces. Patients who suffer from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding, may wear protective mouth guards at night to protect their teeth.

If you think that you’re dealing with TMJ problems, our Medford TMJ dentists strongly encourage you to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner that you begin to rebalance your smile, the better your long-term dental prognosis. Give us a call to get started!