The human jaw is an amazing joint with multiple functions. Try to wiggle your own lower jaw and you will feel the wide range of motion it is capable of. Unlike a simple hinge joint that moves up and down, the human jaw is a ball and socket joint that can move in several directions. This allows us to effectively chew our favorite foods and speak in a wide range of languages. With the wide array of functions our jaws are capable of they unfortunately also can cause us problems and sometimes even pain.
Our jaw is medically known as the temporomandibular joint. There are medical problems that can affect this joint known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction commonly abbreviated to TMJ or TMD. Symptoms of TMJ/TMD can include:
TMJ/TMD can be quite painful and effect your day to day function. Fortunately, therapy may be an option that can help you. Call our office to make an appointment today to discuss your TMJ/TMD needs.
Many people can develop problems with the shape of their bite or the alignment of their jaw. This can be in the form of an underbite, crossbite, or overbite. In some cases genetics can be the reason for these alignment problems however in many cases personal habits can be the culprit. For example people who sucked their thumb or used a pacifier for longer than usual or had a tongue thrust may end up with some of these issues later in life.
A misaligned bite can be a problem for many people for aesthetic reasons however an uneven bite can cause other health problems. These can include jaw pain, headaches, damage or wear to the teeth. In some cases orthodontics can be used to correct your bite. In other cases that are not tooth involved but rather jaw involved other options may help you. Call our office to schedule an appointment and discuss any problems you are feeling with your bite.
The professionals at Mint Smile Studio in Elmhurst are skilled in using appliance therapy for treating your TMJ/TMD problems or even your misaligned bite. The appliances are custom made for your teeth so they feel comfortable and provide the specific therapy you need and the typically are worn at night.
Your appliance design will vary depending on the problem we are trying to treat as well as the extent of therapy needed. For treating a misaligned bite we will use an appliance that will gently guide your jaw to the correct position and eventually your jaw will learn to hold this position on its own. For treated TMJ/TMD problems an appliance that gently holds your jaw in a slightly open position to relieve pressure may be used. This will ultimately reduce the inflammation and discomfort on your joint.
If you have problems with your bite or are suffering from jaw pain/discomfort call our office today to schedule and exam with Dr. Advani, Dr Desai, or Dr Higgins at Mint Smile Studio and we will be happy to help formulate a treatment plan designed specifically for your needs.