If you’re pestered by nagging headaches, jaw pain, chronic earaches, or back and neck pain, you may suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The TMJs are joints that hold your jaw to your skull, and they’re located just in front of your ears. Many nerves and muscles are associated with the jaw joints, and they must work in complete harmony for comfortable function. When stress, genetics, injury, or other factors contribute to misalignment of the TMJ, jaw muscles and nerves become irritated. This causes pain that can range from moderate to debilitating.
Oftentimes, TMJ dysfunction is accompanied by bruxism, the condition of clenching and grinding your teeth. Bruxism causes tooth wear and damage, which can also lead to TMJ dysfunction – so it works both ways.
Fortunately, the same oral appliance Dr. Fondriest administers to address TMJ dysfunction also eliminates bruxism. The custom-fitted oral appliance holds the jaw in proper alignment, relieving stress on the TMJs and preventing top and bottom teeth from touching. Over time, wearing the oral appliance at night (or during the day) may reprogram jaw muscles to maintain the correct position. However, some patients must wear their oral appliance, as needed, forever.
You do not have to live with TMJ pain. Call Lake Forest Dental Arts if you’re in the Chicago suburbs and North Shore. Dr. James Fondriest can restore your jaw’s alignment, relieve nagging TMJ symptoms, and possibly end destructive bruxism – so you can live a higher quality life!