TMJ disorder is a condition that produces significant discomfort and a reduction of oral function. Sometimes the symptoms of TMJ disorder can resolve on their own if corrective behaviors are taken such as breaking the habit of bruxism or incorporating stress reduction techniques to help ease strain on the temporomandibular joint.
For the most part, however, TMJ disorder does not resolve on its own. This is because the underlying causes of TMJ dysfunction need to be rectified so that the oral health system can work and function harmoniously. Those suffering with tooth loss – especially edentulous patients – can develop TMJ disorder because missing teeth negatively affect the bite. Those suffering with tooth loss can schedule a consultation with our prosthodontist, a specialist who focuses on creating prosthetics to address tooth loss.
What is TMJ disorder exactly?
TMJ disorder involves the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints, which can produce orofacial pain, worn dentition, and oral function reduction. Common reasons behind the development of TMJ disorder include bruxism, malocclusions, tooth loss, and stress. When a person has an unhealthy bite without proper tooth placement or healthy jaw alignment, it will put stress on the TMJ and its supportive tissues like ligaments and facial muscles.
A stressed or strained TMJ will ultimately dysfunction, which means that a person might experience pronounced facial pain and/or reduced oral function. In severe instances of TMJ dysfunction, the jaw might “lock up’ – meaning that opening and closing the mouth is nearly impossible. Typical symptoms of TMJ disorder include clicking and popping sounds/sensations during mouth movement, headaches, facial tenderness, and untimely tooth wear. Treatment for TMJ disorder depends on the underlying cause of the condition.
How can a prosthodontist help?
While stress reduction techniques and restorations to rebuild the bite are common treatment methods, patients who have TMJ disorder and tooth loss might want to visit a prosthodontist – a specialist who focuses on developing prosthetics like bridges and dentures for patients who suffer from tooth loss. By replacing lost teeth with prosthetics, a patient can enjoy an optimal oral health.
If you have TMJ disorder and tooth loss, call us to reserve a consultation.