How TMJ issues can impact your smile health
Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, are the hinges that connect your jaw to your skull. If you have pain in these joints, it’s called TMJ/TMD. Dr. Ania Mohelicki and her team in Boulder, CO, see patients with this condition and can help them treat it. TMJ/TMD can happen for all sorts of reasons: arthritis, teeth grinding, clenching your jaw. When it does, it can not only be painful but also lead to problems with your bite and your smile.
- Poor bite alignment. If you have TMJ/TMD, you may find that your teeth don’t fit together the way they used to. Your upper teeth and lower teeth may not line up when you bite down. This is called malocclusion. You may also have trouble opening and closing your mouth. All of this can lead to changes in the way your teeth fit together and even tooth loss.
- Pain and discomfort. TMJ/TMD can also cause pain in your face, neck, and shoulders. You may have headaches, or you may find it hard to chew. Your jaw may even click or pop when you move it. All of this can have an impact on your smile. If you’re in pain, you may not feel like smiling. And if you can’t bite and chew properly, your smile may not look its best.
- Bruxism. In addition, TMJ/TMD is sometimes associated with bruxism, which is the clenching and grinding of the teeth. This causes damage to the smile as well as fatigue of the jaw joint and muscles. Wearing a nightguard when you sleep can reduce this damage and protect the smile when resting.
Request time to speak to our dental team about your options for treatment
Fortunately, there are treatments available for TMJ/TMD, including massage therapy, oral appliances, and in severe cases, surgery. If you think you might have this condition, talk to Dr. Ania Mohelicki and her team in Boulder, CO. She can help you find the right treatment for you and get your smile back on track! Call 303-872-9940 to request a consultation visit at her office and start taking charge of your oral health and wellness along with your TMJ/TMD condition!