Are you experiencing jaw pain or muscle tension?
On top of a stressful year, holiday stress can often lead to increased teeth grinding and jaw clenching. You may notice that your jaw feels tighter, your teeth may be more sensitive or you hear clicking sounds when eating. These are some common signs of a TMJ disorder and that the jaw is not functioning properly due to muscle tension. Dr. Wainwright is a Dawson-trained dentist in Austin with advanced education in diagnosing and treating bite problems, often referred to as TMJ.
How do I know if I have a TMJ disorder?
The best way to confirm a TMJ disorder is to have Dr. Wainwright perform a dental exam. He offers experienced care for TMJ-related problems that is patient-focused for a successful outcome. Dr. Wainwright has the training necessary to diagnose the root cause of your symptoms and takes the time to thoroughly examine and evaluate all aspects of your oral system including the jaw joints.
There are some signs that can be noticed at home and indicate that you may have a TMJ disorder:
- Teeth that are worn or flat
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Jaw pain
- Headaches, especially around the temples
- Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism
For many patients, stress can increase the severity of symptoms often due to increased teeth grinding and clenching of the jaw muscles. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching may be occurring at night or without the patient noticing. Dr. Wainwright looks for the signs of bruxism during routine visits and can offer more conservative treatment options if caught early.
How can TMJ be treated?
Dr. Wainwright uses a range of treatments to address the symptoms and side effects of a TMJ disorder. If there is no damage to the teeth from teeth grinding, a mouth guard or splint therapy can be successful at relieving symptoms and stopping teeth grinding.
For more severe cases or when there is damage to the teeth or soft tissues, Dr. Wainwright will create a treatment plan that may incorporate restorative procedures. This is to repair damage and allow the teeth to make proper contact. Even orthodontics may be recommended if crooked teeth are creating a bite problem.
The key to a successful outcome for the individual patient is the personalized approach that our dental care team takes when meeting the needs of our patients. If you have concerns about the health or function of your bite or are experiencing signs of a TMJ disorder, schedule a visit and learn more about the benefits of addressing your concerns and improving your dental health. A comfortable and functional bite will also allow you to enjoy your best quality of life and avoid permanent damage to the teeth or gums.