Category: Jaw Problems

Jaw problems? We can help

At Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth, we don’t think our responsibilities towards our patients end with their teeth. We also look at the body parts that surround and influence the teeth. Jaws play a vital role in chewing, and moving the teeth up and down and side to side to grind food into manageable pieces.

Jaw Problems in BournemouthSo, when things start to go wrong with your jaw, there can be knock-on effects for your teeth. If you think you have jaw problems, then please tell us about them. We can help sort them out.

In the dental profession, we call issues with this important joint temporomandibular disorder, or TMD for short.

TMD is often caused by your jaws not being properly aligned. When the jaws don’t line up correctly, it can cause you to clench your teeth together and grind them in your sleep.

The symptoms you may be experiencing

Clenched jaws and bruxism (teeth grinding) can result in pain in the facial muscles, headaches and migraines, neck ache, and shoulder pain. People also often experience clicking in the jaw joint.

The results for the teeth themselves can be that over time they start to split and crumble away from all the grinding together when you are asleep.

What can we do to help?

Many people find that wearing a rigid plastic protector over their teeth at night can greatly alleviate their jaw problems.

Getting a night guard means coming in for impressions to be taken. When you wear the guard at night, it will get your jaws to relax and will also help protect your teeth against grinding.

Your jaw problems may also be improved by replacing any missing teeth and adjusting ill-fitting bridgework.

Some people also need to have orthodontic treatment or maxillofacial surgery in order to bring their jaws into proper alignment.

What to do now?

Give us a call and explain that you are experiencing jaw problems and we can book you in for an appointment and start to explore what may be causing them. Our friendly team will do all they can to alleviate the distressing symptoms that jaw problems cause.

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Your jaw and your headaches

If you regularly wake up with a splitting headache, and have tried all the usual avenues to find out what’s wrong, maybe it’s time to come to Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth.

TMD in BournemouthAbout 30% of adults in the UK suffer from temporomandibular disorder (TMD) at some point in their lives. This disorder of the jaw joint can leave you with pain in your head, neck and shoulders. That pain can also be present around the jaw joint itself, as well as sometimes being present just in front of the ear, and even in the ear itself.

If you have TMD, you may find that your jaw feels tight and that it pops or clicks and does not seem to open as wide as it should.

Sometimes these various pains and other symptoms can disappear as mysteriously as they arrived, but if you have had debilitating headaches or other pains for some time, you really need to get it checked out at the dentist.

What can the dentist do?

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we will do our best to find out what’s causing the TMD.

It could be that you are grinding your teeth at night. If this is the case, it won’t be just your jaw joint that is in trouble. After a while, your teeth will suffer too. The constant grinding can cause them to crumble and split.

Other causes include stress, a jaw joint injury, osteoarthritis, an uneven bite or even gout, rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Once we have established the cause of your TMD, we can offer a range of devices to help control it. We have devices that cover the teeth to prevent you biting down and grinding.

We also have a new device called Cerezen. This tiny device goes inside each of your ears and makes it uncomfortable for you to clench your teeth either at night or during the day.

So, why not take the first step to less pain and book a consultation to get to the root of your TMD? Soon, you will be on your way to waking up feeling fresh as a daisy.

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Addressing TMD and Jaw Problems in Bournemouth

When you visit Castle Lane Dental Care, our team take care of more than just your teeth. Your body is a complex system and there are lots of parts related to the function of the mouth. All of your activities such as speaking, eating and breathing are assisted and facilitated by various muscles and joints around the face. If everything is working together and your oral health is well cared for, you shouldn’t experience any issues. However, if you have an issue with a single area, such as a misaligned jaw, it can affect the whole system.

TMD and Jaw Problems in BournemouthDiagnosing jaw problems

Jaw problems can manifest in a variety of ways. Some of them seem unrelated to the jaw area and so, for some people, it can be difficult to diagnose the problem at first. If someone has long term back pain or earache, for example, both of these can be caused by misalignment of the jaw.

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we can do a thorough examination of the area to check for outward signs of jaw problems. We can also do an x-ray to get a close look at the joint. Your consultation with us also includes questions about your health and lifestyle so that we can investigate possible causes for your symptoms.

Treating jaw problems

There are a number of ways to begin addressing jaw problems. We might recommend one or more of the following solutions:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication – you may also be working with a GP if you have been experiencing long term difficulty. They may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication as swelling in the jaw muscles can misalign the joint and exacerbate any issues that you have;
  • Relaxation – people hold a lot of stress in their jaw. Over time, this can lead to spasms, tension and, bad chewing and eating habits. Learning to be conscious of the jaw muscles so that you can control and release them is invaluable for alleviating the symptoms of jaw problems;
  • Dietary changes – if you experience pain while eating, you may need to introduce softer foods to your diet. This might only be a temporary change to give your jaw a rest and allow any swelling to subside.
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Common questions about TMD and Jaw Problems in Bournemouth

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we can help you address issues such as temporomandibular disorder and jaw problems. We have plenty of experience dealing with patients who have long term issues. We want to help you correct any issues and free yourself from pain and discomfort for good.

Jaw Problems in BournemouthWhat causes TMD?

The temporomandibular joint is the one that moves the jaw around. This is the most complex and mobile joint in the body. We use it over and over again on a daily basis to speak, smile, eat and so on. It’s easy for it to become misaligned. This might be through repeated bad usage habits, an injury or an underlying health condition, such as arthritis.

Often, it is not possible to tell why someone has developed TMD but this does not stop us from being able to address resulting issues. Once misaligned, the jaw can begin to cause issues with the muscles, teeth, ears, neck and so on. It’s estimated that around 30% of adults have some sort of misalignment issue but only a percentage of these will experience any issues as a result.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary from patient to patient. They may include some or all of the following:

  • Pain in the muscles around the face and neck – this might be an aching pain or something sharper;
  • Persistent ear pain or pain in the head;
  • Stiff or locking jaw – some people think that a popping jaw is a sign of TMD but, unless it is accompanied by pain, this is probably not the case;
  • Referred pain – such as back or neck ache. These areas can tense up repeatedly in response to a misaligned jaw;
  • Sleep issues – such as snoring or sleep apnoea.

What can be done to alleviate symptoms?

When you visit Castle Lane Dental Care, we talk to you about your symptoms and try to find the best kind of treatment for you. It sometimes depends on the underlying cause. Recommendations might include medication, jaw exercises, relaxation and adjusting your food choices. We can also look at any damage or issues with your teeth as a result of TMD. This sometimes includes uneven wear on the teeth which can exacerbate jaw problems over time.

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Jaw problems and how to treat them

Jaw problems known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders affect your complex jaw joint. If you experience symptoms like pain or a clicking sound every time you bite, you are probably suffering from a TMJ disorder. Fortunately, jaw problems are easier to diagnose and treat than they were in the past. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early diagnosis and treatment are really important.

At Castle Lane Dental Care in Bournemouth, we can treat your jaw problems either by surgery or with the aid of specialised equipment. Depending on your individual situation, our experienced dentists will examine your jaw joints and muscles and determine the best treatment option.

TMD & Jaw Problems in BournemouthHow to determine if you have a TMJ disorder

TMJ disorders are common and depend on many factors. If you clench or grind your teeth or tighten your jaw muscles, then you are likely to develop a TMJ disorder. Same applies for damaged jaw joints or arthritis, a bone disease. Sometimes, a TMJ disorder can be the direct cause of a misaligned bite and can only be treated with teeth straightening. If left untreated, all of these conditions can damage the jaw joint or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the little cushion of the jaw joint can move out of position causing pain and discomfort.

Therefore, if you have sore, stiff muscles around your jaws and suffer from frequent headaches, it is likely that you are suffering from a TMJ disorder.

Treatment

Your dentist will recommend a number of treatments in order to improve the balance and function of your jaw. Once we evaluate your problem and confirm a TMJ disorder, we may recommend teeth straightening treatment or surgery. If the TMJ disorder is related to teeth clenching, then treatment may include wearing a hard plastic appliance at night to help your teeth surfaces from clenching and putting too much pressure on the jaw muscles. Other treatments may include replacing missing teeth or adjusting any ill-fitting bridgework or dentures that you may have.

A TMJ disorder is a potentially serious condition, therefore, it is really important to visit your dentist as soon as you feel uncomfortable. This will ensure that the problem does not become worse over time, requiring more drastic and expensive measures to correct.

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TMD treatment simplified – everything you need to know about it

Do you suffer from chronic pain in the jaw, face, head, neck or shoulders? This pain may be caused by TMD, also known as a temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It is a unique and complicated joint, the proper function of which depends on the co-ordination of your jaw joints and teeth, as well as the muscles of your face, head and neck. In order for you to able to chew and speak properly, all these muscles and joints should function properly. When one part of this system is not in balance, you are likely to develop TMD.

TMD & Jaw ProblemsTMD affects an estimated 30% of adults in the UK at some point in their lives. Most patients get better by themselves without any treatment, but quite a few people experience chronic jaw problems and pain. If you are suffering from TMD, your dentist at Castle Lane Dental in Bournemouth will examine your jaw joints carefully and suggest a plan to treat your symptoms.

Causes of TMD

Generally, TMD is caused by a combination of factors like jaw problems and bone disease, such as osteoarthritis. It is also believed that tooth grinding and head or neck muscle tension may worsen TMD symptoms. Stress is also a possible factor for developing TMD. However, it is not clear whether stress is a cause or just a side-effect. Other factors that may be responsible for TMD are ill-fitted dentures, as well as daily habits such as fingernail biting and pen or pencil biting. Poorly aligned teeth can also cause TMD.

How your dentist can help

At Castle Lane Dental Care, we will try to establish the cause of your TMD and use minimally-invasive techniques, to help you self-manage the condition whenever possible. We may suggest wearing a night guard made of clear plastic. This mouth guard fits over the teeth of one jaw so that you bite into it rather than your teeth. We also offer an innovative treatment, called Cerezen. It is inserted into the ear canal and helps to prevent grinding because of the ear canal’s close proximity to the temporomandibular joints. We may also recommend seeing an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist to help alleviate your symptoms.

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