Category: Jaw Problems

What is TMJ and how is it Treated?

Perhaps you have heard of TMJ but aren’t quite sure what it means. TMJ is short for temporomandibular disorder and is also called TMD. It refers to problems with your jaw joints or temporomandibular joints and the muscles connected to them. You have two temporomandibular joints, one each side of your jaw, connecting your lower jaw to your skull. Your jaw joints allow you to freely move your jaw so you can talk, yawn and chew. Problems with these joints can be pretty painful and may require treatment with our dentist in South Benfleet.

jaw-problemWhat Causes TMJ?

It’s not exactly known what causes TMJ but symptoms can develop if you have problems with the actual jaw joints or with any of the muscles attached to your jaws. This may be due to an injury as whiplash, or a heavy blow to the head can lead to TMJ. It might also be caused by bruxism, where you clench and grind your teeth, putting a lot of pressure on your jaw joints. Your facial muscles can become tight and sore if you are under a lot of stress and arthritis can also create problems with your temporomandibular joints.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ can cause facial tenderness and pain around the jaw joint area and this pain can extend into your neck and shoulders. You might notice it when you try to chew or speak and opening your mouth very wide could be painful. Sometimes people with TMJ will find their jaws get locked in the open or close position, or you could notice your jaws will make a clicking or popping sound whenever you try to open and close your mouth or to chew food. This clicking or popping sound doesn’t necessarily cause any pain. It might feel as if your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together correctly and the pain and inflammation in your jaw joints can cause facial swelling. Other symptoms include headaches and earaches, tinnitus or feeling dizzy and it can cause toothache.

Getting a Diagnosis for TMJ

If you think you might have TMJ or have unexplained facial pain or jaw joint pain, make an appointment to come and see our South Benfleet dentist. They will carefully check your jaw joints for any signs of pain and inflammation and will assess how smoothly you are able to move your jaw. It’s possible that we might need to take dental x-rays to view your jaw joints more clearly and more advanced scans such as a CT scan or MRI might occasionally be necessary.

Treating TMJ

The most straightforward way to treat TMJ is for our South Benfleet dentist to construct a custom-made night splint or guard. This is a hard plastic mouthguard that will generally fit over your upper teeth, preventing them from coming into contact with your lower teeth. The night splint will help put your jaws into a more relaxed position, preventing clenching and grinding.Sometimes treating any bite problems can be useful as if your teeth are correctly aligned then they are less likely to place stress on your jaw joints.

If you have been waking up with headaches or facial pain or think you might have the symptoms of TMJ then please contact South Benfleet Dental Care to book an appointment with our friendly dentists. You can get in touch with us on 01268 793485 or if it’s more convenient you can book online at

Do You Wake up with a Painful Jaw? Ask Us for Help and Advice

Did you find yourself waking up yet again with a sore and aching jaw this morning? Perhaps it is difficult to open and close your mouth comfortably or you noticed that your jaw joints have begun to make a clicking or popping sound. If this sounds familiar, you may have temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ for short. It is a potentially painful condition that as well as affecting the jaw joints, can lead to pain radiating out down towards your neck and shoulders, or for some people it can cause chronic headaches.

painfull-jawWhat Causes TMJ?

TMJ is often associated with clenching and grinding, a condition called bruxism. This habit is usually nocturnal and is subconscious so you may be completely unaware that you clench or grind your teeth during sleep. Bruxism is a potentially destructive condition that can wear down your tooth enamel, leading to your teeth becoming chipped and cracked, eventually damaging your gums and even leading to tooth loss. The pressure caused by clenching and grinding places your jaw joints under considerable stress, potentially leading to the development of TMJ.

Diagnosing and Treating TMJ

If you have noticed your teeth look a bit shorter than before or are chipped, or that you have tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods then it’s worth giving our Basildon dentist a call to book an appointment. It’s well worth doing this before bruxism can cause any further damage as often during the early stages it is quite easy to treat. By carefully examining your teeth, gums and gently feeling your jaw joints, our dentist can assess whether or not you have this problem. We may also need to take x-rays to assess any damage.

We can also look at what’s causing your bruxism as sometimes it can be due to teeth being out of alignment and it could be that correcting your bite through restorative dentistry or through orthodontics could help treat and prevent this condition. If you have any ill-fitting dental appliances then these may need adjusting or replacing so that your teeth can bite together correctly. However, often bruxism can be due to stress and an easy and very straightforward way to treat it is to provide you with a custom-made night splint. To do this, our dentist in Basildon will take an accurate impression of your teeth that is used to fabricate a hard plastic night splint that will fit over your upper teeth so they cannot come into contact with your lower teeth. It might take a little while to get used to wearing this appliance as like any new dental restoration it may initially feel a bit strange. It is worth persevering, particularly as some people may only need to wear their night splint for a short while to break this habit. If you think your TMJ and bruxism is due to stress, it can be helpful to try to take action to lower your stress levels.

The most important thing to do is to take action if you do have jaw problems or facial pain. Please contact Felmores Dental Care to book your appointment with our Basildon dentist so you can get a proper diagnosis. Call us on 01268 726789.

What is TMJ and How Can It Be Treated?

You have two temporomandibular joints, one either side of your lower jaw, connecting it to your skull. These joints allow you to freely move your lower jaw from side to side and up and down so you can yawn, talk and chew. If you develop problems with these jaw joints and the muscles associated with controlling it, then it’s referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ or sometimes TMD. The pain caused by TMJ can be considerable, resulting in facial pain that may extend down into your neck and shoulders and it can create chronic headaches. Other symptoms can include:

  • jaw problemsBeing unable to open and close your mouth comfortably
  • Finding your jaws are locked in an open or closed position
  • Your jaw may make a clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth and this could be painful
  • It might seem as if your bite has changed so your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together comfortably anymore and this can create problems with chewing

What Causes TMJ?

There are various different things that can cause TMJ as for example if you have a heavy blow to your head or neck or suffer whiplash it can result in this condition. Other causes include clenching and grinding your teeth which is a condition called bruxism, and sometimes the joints can become arthritic.

Diagnosing TMJ

If you think you might have TMJ and frequently wake up with facial or jaw pain then it’s worth booking an appointment with our Downham Market dentist. There are a number of other problems that can cause symptoms similar to TMJ and which include gum disease, tooth decay and sinus problems so we will need to check for these conditions. Our dentist will physically examine your jaw joints for any signs of pain or tenderness and they will ask you to open and close your mouth to listen for any possible clicks or pops. They will also be interested in looking at the way your teeth bite together and in checking your facial muscles for any potential problems. At this appointment it’s likely we may wish to take some x-rays to view your temporomandibular joints in greater detail. Depending on the results of these x-rays, it might be necessary to have further tests that could include a CT scan or an MRI.

Treating TMJ

There are a number of ways that TMJ can be treated but one of the simplest methods is for our dentist in Downham Market to make you a custom-made night guard. This is normally made from hard plastic and will prevent your teeth from contacting during the night, helping your jaws to relax. Other treatments that can help involve correcting any problems with your bite that may be causing you to clench and grind and which will place your jaw joints under stress. This may mean replacing old crowns or ill-fitting dental appliances so your teeth can bite together correctly.

There is no need to put up with the pain of TMJ as our dentist in Downham Market can help you. To book an appointment call Downham Market Dental Care on 01366 382265.

What is TMJ and How Could It Affect Me?

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint disorder and you may also hear this condition called TMD or temporomandibular disorder. Both refer to the same condition that affects your temporomandibular joints and these are your jaw joints that move your lower jaw. Unfortunately these joints can become inflamed and extremely painful. You may find yourself waking up with facial pain that extends down into your neck and shoulders, or with chronic headaches that are difficult to get rid of. TMJ can also affect your ears, causing earache or tinnitus. Another symptom is noticing that your jaw clicks or pops whenever you open or close it or try to move it. It is important to get a proper diagnosis from your dentist in Southend before the damage to these joints becomes more extensive.

What Causes TMJ?

jaw problemsOne of the most common causes of TMJ is bruxism or teeth grinding and clenching. This is a nocturnal habit and many people may be unaware they have this condition unless a sleeping partner mentions the noise during the night. Bruxism can be extremely destructive, wearing down teeth and causing the gums to recede. In the worst case it can cause tooth loss, and of course it also affects your jaw joints due to the pressure placed upon them. TMJ may also be caused by having teeth that are out of occlusion or what is called a bad bite. If your teeth do not bite together evenly, it can put stress on your jaw joints, causing pain.

How Can TMJ Be Treated?

If you think any of these symptoms sound at all familiar then make an appointment to come and see our dentist in Southend. The first thing we will need to do is to make a proper diagnosis by gently examining your teeth and gums, as well as your temporomandibular joints to assess any swelling and inflammation. We may want to take x-rays or other diagnostic tests to assess any damage caused to your jaw joints and to your teeth.

TMJ that is caused by bruxism is often quite easily treated with the use of a custom-made night guard or mouthguard. This is made to fit exactly over your teeth, preventing your teeth from contacting and it will help put your jaws into a more relaxed position. Some people may only need to wear this dental appliance for a while as bruxism is a habit and a mouthguard might be enough to retrain your muscles so you no longer clench or grind. If your TMJ is caused by a bad bite then we can correct it for you. This will might mean you need to see an orthodontist in Southend as you may need treatment to realign your teeth. Sometimes a bad bite can be caused by having an ill-fitting crown or bridge or it may be remedied by replacing any missing teeth. Very occasionally oral surgery may be required to correct TMJ.

We can quickly diagnose the cause of your TMJ and will either prescribe the correct treatment or can refer you to a specialist. Please contact Southend Dental Care to book your appointment today on 01702 465000.

Are Your Jaw Problems Giving You a Headache?

Did you wake up with an aching jaw this morning? Do you often have chronic headaches that don’t seem to respond to normal painkillers? It’s just possible that your jaw problems may be related to your headaches.

What Can Cause Jaw Problems?

jaw problemsIn a perfect world your teeth would bite or occlude together correctly but when they fail to bite together properly you have what’s called malocclusion or a bad bite. This might seem insignificant but in fact it can cause a number of problems affecting your teeth, your gums and your jaw joints which are called temporomandibular joints. Your jaw joints are attached to lots of different facial muscles that are responsible for moving the lower jaw so you can talk, laugh and eat comfortably. If your bite is even slightly off it can put pressure on these jaw joints causing a disorder called temporomandibular disorder or TMD for short.

Some people, when their teeth are out of alignment will find they clench or grind their teeth at night, a condition called bruxism. This can put tremendous pressure on the teeth, causing them to become chipped and worn and it can even affect the gums, causing gum recession. The pressure created during bruxism can cause inflammation in the jaw joints which may be pretty painful. This pain can not only affect the jaw joints, but may extend to the temples, causing headaches or it may spread down into the neck and shoulders. It can even be responsible for causing earache.

Getting Treatment for Jaw Problems

If you think you may clench or grind or often wake up with a sore and aching jaw and a headache, it’s worth contacting your dentist in Ladbroke Grove to book a check-up. They will be able to assess the way your teeth bite together and can tell if you are clenching and grinding at night. It is important to try and get treatment as soon as you can for this type of condition as it can ultimately cause tooth loss and extensive damage to the jaw joints may even require surgery in the very worst cases.

The most straightforward way of treating clenching and grinding is for your dentist in Ladbroke Grove to prescribe a custom-made nightguard. This is made from a hard, clear thermoplastic material and will fit tightly over your upper teeth. It is designed to ensure your jaws are placed into a more relaxed position while asleep and will prevent your teeth from biting together. If your teeth are significantly out of position, it’s possible your dentist may suggest other forms of treatment to help correct your bite. For example teeth straightening in Ladbroke Grove could help to correct your bite. Other treatments may focus on adjusting your teeth so they bite together properly or adjusting any dental work you may have like fillings that may be slightly too high or renewing old crown and bridge work.

If you’re fed up with waking up with an aching jaw and a headache or have perhaps noticed your teeth look slightly shorter than you remember, why not contact Ladbroke Grove Dental Care to book an appointment? Call us today on 020 7727 9836.