A TMJ disorder is the inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects the mandible to the skull. When the jaw or teeth are improperly aligned, the TMJ must work harder to compensate for the misalignment. Over-extension of this joint may affect areas that are connected to the TMJ, especially the head and neck.
Custom-fit mouth guards are one method Dr. Yuan uses to prevent overstretching of the TMJ. When patients feel uncomfortable with their bite, this can cause teeth grinding and jaw clenching. These symptoms occur because the jaw is unable to properly relax due to misalignment, leading to headaches and migraines from TMJ fatigue. Mouth guards are made out of durable materials and fitted to the teeth to restrain them from gnashing together. The treatment helps alleviate headaches caused by overworked teeth and jaws because it places less stress on the mandible to adjust an improper bite.
To further combat TMJ-related pain, Dr. Yuan provides occlusal treatments, such as crowns, dental bridges and implants. Occlusal treatments are used to correct uncomfortable bites that result from unevenly surfaced teeth. Crowns aid in the restoration of damaged teeth, whereas dental bridges and implants replace missing teeth. These treatments even out the surface levels of the teeth and fill in gaps, preventing the headaches associated with painful tooth and jaw alignment.
For more information about TMJ disorders and treatments, visit http://drstevenyuan.com or call Dr. Steven Yuan at (630) 893-1300. Dr. Yuan is dedicated to providing patients with informational resources to help them learn about which treatments are best for their individual needs.