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Problems with your jaw

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Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). If left untreated, TMD can cause unnecessary pain and oral complications in the future so your dentist may recommend a treatment for TMJ to help your condition and minimize further pain symptoms.

Like bruxism appliances or athletic mouth guards you can buy over the counter in pharmacies across the country to provide temporary relief of teeth grinding to protect your teeth and relieve headaches caused by dental migraines. Some of these devices only require the patient to wear their mouthpiece overnight while others function throughout each patient’s day to manage their condition throughout the day and prevent any injuries from occurring as a result of tension in the facial muscles.

We don’t know what causes TMD. Dentists believe symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of your jaw or with the parts of the joint itself. It is usually mistaken as a simple toothache that causes aching around your jaws which can make it difficult to open your mouth wide when eating with cutlery or even singing because it would be painful to strain the muscle areas.

TMD often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It might affect one or both sides of your face. If your symptoms are mild, your dentist might be able to treat the disorder with splints and other devices that prevent clenching and grinding your teeth at night while sleeping to keep your jaw from locking up in that unwanted position. Medicines such as muscle relaxants and/or antidepressants might also be helpful in some cases of persistent discomfort when treated long-term in conjunction with a night guard appliance that protects the teeth from the damaging effects of bruxism.

In severe cases where muscles are permanently damaged and pain is unbearable regardless of the measures taken to protect the teeth during sleep with a nightguard or any over-the-counter medications employed to alleviate symptoms – surgery might be necessary to correct the problem either by severing the muscles or by stretching them to relieve pressure and the muscle tensions.

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