If you deal with a popping jaw, pain radiating from the jaw muscles, or clenching and grinding of the teeth, you may want to be aware of the conditions that might be impacting your smile. Patients of the Webster, Texas area who notice these problems will want to talk to their dentist about the issues spotted and determine if they have a condition that needs treatment. Individuals who present with these complaints to Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez and his team at Premier Dental may be dealing with TMJ, TMD, or bruxism.
First, patients need to understand what TMJ and TMD are. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is the jaw joint that hinges the upper and lower jaw. It allows patients to eat, speak, and even yawn. When the joint itself or the muscles surrounding the joint are dysfunctional, they can cause the diagnosis of a condition known as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This is a chronic condition that can become painful and problematic.
Bruxism, on the other hand, is a condition that causes patients to clench and grind their teeth unknowingly. These actions can damage the smile, wear down natural tooth enamel, or break dental restorations. This often happens at night when patients are unaware of the condition, though a dentist can evaluate a patient and spot the signs of bruxism with an examination alone.
Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez and his team will often recommend the use of an oral appliance, which is a specialized mouthguard that can realign the jaw, reduce tension on the TMJ joint, and protect the smile when clenching and grinding occurs.
Protecting your smile and your overall health and lifestyle may require the help of a dental professional. If you live in the Webster, Texas, area and are interested in working with the team at Premier Dental, we invite you to call us at (281) 317-6401. We are open to new and existing patients and families at 11 Professional Park Drive. Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez and his staff work directly with patients to diagnose, treat and prevent dental issues.