Do you wake up in the morning with a sore lower jaw? Do you suffer from headaches, neck pain and migraines?
Suffering from this cluster of symptoms could be indicative of a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This disorder is caused by a misalignment of the teeth on the upper and lower jaws as well as misfitting jaws; simply put, when you close your mouth, your teeth and jaws do not slot together correctly and when you are asleep, you are grinding your teeth together to try and alleviate this issue, which is very uncomfortable!
At Plowman and Partners, we are aware of how disruptive TMJ can be and our dentist in Marylebone can offer you a range of different techniques, devices and treatment options to minimise the impact that this extremely common condition has on your life.
Not the most popular of our options but our dentist in Marylebone has seen the positive impact that wearing a brace can have on TMJ.
As this disorder is primarily caused by misaligned teeth, the easiest way to resolve it permanently is with a brace and, depending on the severity of your misalignment, our dentist in Marylebone may be able to fit you with a removable or invisible brace, until your teeth are realigned.
As previously mentioned, the grinding associated with those early morning headaches occurs when you are asleep, which can make it more difficult to control.
Luckily, there are a range of sleep guards to wear during those forty winks which will prevent you from grinding your teeth together and will stop any damage to the tops of your teeth. These are custom made to fit your teeth and are constructed from a smooth, but durable plastic, making them easy to wear without disrupting your sleep pattern.
Our team may decide that you might benefit from some minor reconstruction work on your teeth, to even out the surfaces and realign any displaced teeth.
Often used alongside sleep guards and massages, these reconstructions usually involve covering uneven teeth with a layer of porcelain, to make your bite more even, reducing the need to grind and brux.
We all like a massage when we have stiff muscles in our backs and it is no different when our jaw muscles are sore.
At Plowman and Partners, our dental team can provide you with specialist massages, to help relax overworked muscles affected by TMJ alongside teaching you how to perform these massages on yourself when you wake up each morning.
Done each day, this will alleviate any associated pain in the jaw from grinding in the night-time.
Another way we help manage the discomfort of TMJ is to show you how to exercise your jaw muscles, to strengthen them, so they do not become overworked by nocturnal bruxing.
Performed everyday, alongside the massages, this technique reduces the associated discomfort, but does not treat the underlying condition and is therefore used as a complementary treatment for TMJ.