Are you someone who suffers with frequent headaches that have no apparent cause?
Do you wake in the morning with ear, neck or facial pain?
Many people who experience these symptoms are suffering unknowingly from a Temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Dr. Cappy Sinclair of Coastal Cosmetic Dentistry in Virginia Beach has extensive post graduate education in the areas of TMD and bite disorders. He will take the time with each patient to fully evaluate and diagnose the cause of a TMD before creating a treatment plan- it is important to understand the underlying instability in the occlusal system in order to ensure comfortable and long lasting results.
Signs and Symptoms of TMD/TMJ:
- Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Another very common sign of TMD is teeth clenching or grinding, also called bruxism. This is another symptom that may go undetected because patients typically grind their teeth at night during sleep. Teeth grinding, another sign that there is an imbalance in the bite, can put pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and lead to the head, ear and neck aches that many experience either upon waking or during the course of the day. Teeth grinding can also lead to or be the cause of other oral health problems like gum disease and damaged teeth.
Modern dental technology enables a dentist like Dr. Sinclair to evaluate and understand the force and alignment of a patient’s bite. With the use of the digital bite analysis device, T-scan, Dr. Sinclair is able to recreate on a computer screen a 3-D image of a patient’s bite from an ultra-thin sensor that the patient simply puts between the teeth and bites down on. These images allow Dr. Sinclair to see where there is misalignment and instability, which is a contributing factor to TMD.
There are a range of treatment options available to TMD patients today, the most common of which is the custom fit mouth guard. This appliance is worn at night to reduce the stress of teeth clenching and grinding that is placed on the TMJ. Allowing this joint to be relaxed can provide the relief that patients need who suffer with accompanying headaches and radiating pain.
If you have experienced any of the signs or symptoms of TMD, contact Dr. Sinclair at Coastal Cosmetic Dentistry in Virginia Beach to schedule a consultation.