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TMJ Treatment, Orofacial Pain Specialist in Cherry Hill,NJ

If it is difficult or painful to open your mouth, your jaw occasionally locks, getting stuck open or closed, or you notice clicking or popping when you open your mouth, you may have a TMJ disorder. TMD stands for tempormandibular joint disorder which is a condition that affects the head and neck. This is a prevalent dysfunction because of the daily stresses in today’s hectic society. These tiny joints of the jaw take on pressure and can cause facial muscles to strain in order to hold the jaw in place that can cause teeth to move out of alignment. Clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep is also a possible cause of TMD and an early sign of TMD.  Migraine headaches are a common symptom. A dentist can help determine if a link exists between your jaw pain and migraines and your teeth alignment.

Early diagnosis and treatment of TMJ is keys for better success. There are many ways a dentist can help with TMJ including bruxism treatment, bite plates, mouth guards and capping teeth, as well as dental sleep medicines.

Orofacial Pain Specialist

The field of Orofacial Pain is concerned with the prevention, assessment, identification, management, and correction of orofacial pain disorders. If you experience pain such as TMJ disorder bruxism or headaches, an orofacial pain specialist can help you. The orofacial pain provider will serve as a consultant to the dentists and can provide direct treatment, prescribe medication, rehabilitative services, perform pain relieving procedures, and provide direction to the patient suffering from a painful disorder.

Orofacial Pain Therapy Dentist


Dentists who have focused their careers on Orofacial Pain for five years and who have 400 hours of continuing education in orofacial pain are eligible for the American Board of Orofacial Pain.  As with other specialties in dentistry, the Orofacial Pain dentist is available to treat the more complex issues in patients, and more general orofacial needs can be met by general dentists with an interest in this area.

TMJ Treatment 

  Bruxism (Teeth Grinding), Dental Sleep Medicine in       Cherry Hill, NJ

 Bruxism Treatment

Bruxism is also known as teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth is bad because it can aggravate the joints in your lower jaw, which leads to pain or tightness in the joint area, earaches and headaches. In most cases bruxism is mild. Most people are unaware that they grind their teeth because they do it in their sleep, and are usually told by a loved one who hears the sound, but in other cases, waking up with a headache or sore jaw.

    Causes of Bruxism


But when you grind your teeth on a daily basis, this can cause complications. Bruxism can cause an abnormal bite or be caused by the teeth being aligned or with a poor bite. Severe grinding of your teeth can cause TMJ, a problem with your jaw and muscles in your face. Bruxism can also occur because of stress or severe injuries, or can be a side effect from various medications like Prozac or Zoloft.


    Complications of Bruxism

There are four processes involved in damaging our teeth that have nothing to do with tooth decay, infection, or bacteria. These are attrition, abrasion, erosion and abfraction


Attrition is a normal process that occurs in every person, wherein, the opposing teeth rub against each other while chewing. However, some people exhibit an accelerated rate of wear which is often attributed to bruxing, clinching, and grinding. 


Teeth Abrasion is also caused by friction, but from a different source. Abrasion occurs when one uses a hard toothbrush or abrasive toothpaste to brush vigorously. Unlike the other three which are mechanical process, Erosion is a chemical process. When the acid level in the saliva rises it begins to dissolve the enamel.

 Another process of tooth wear is Abfraction in which the abnormal load created by bruxing is the main causative factor. The main impact of the loading in abfraction is at a different location from the point of contact. Here, the pressure causes tooth

flexure which in turn leads to flaking of the enamel at the neck of the tooth instead of the biting surface. It is normally observed at the buccal side of the teeth near the gum line, where the enamel is at its weakest. Abfraction lesions are V-shaped while the abrasion and attrition lesions are flat.

    How Can a Dentist Treat Bruxism


There are many ways for treating bruxism (teeth grinding), one therapy is using a mouth guard, Night Guard. Another treatment method is a mouth splint. Mouth guards and mouth splints may help reduce muscle activity in your jaw at night. However, they are only able to control the condition. If you are looking for a cure, a dentist can also work on realignment of your teeth. This is usually the option that works. In other more severe cases, crowns are used to reshape the surfaces of your teeth.


    Duration and Prevention of Bruxism


Children with bruxism will typically stop spontaneously by age 10-13. Bruxism in adults depends on its cause. If the cause is a dental problem, the issue should be resolved after a few dental visits.  In both kids and adults, tooth damage related to bruxism can solved with a night bite plate or a bite splint or mouth guard.

Still, there are others ways to manage bruxism that include behavioral treatments such as muscle relaxation exercises or Dental Sleep Medicine and therapies.

If you are looking for pain-free quality dental care in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, then look no further!  Dr. Lee of Kingston Family Cosmetic Dental   Center provides excellent services using the most advanced technology to give you the brightest smile!  

Call us at (856) 795-9007 to learn more or book an appointment today!

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