If you suffer from chronic jaw pain, you already know that it can have significant consequences for your quality of life. The discomfort can make eating difficult and unpleasant. Pain may even spread, causing headaches, neck stiffness, and shoulder tension. You could also develop serious dental damage. Jaw pain often results from bruxism or temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. These common conditions can put a lot of pressure on your teeth, weakening them and increasing your risk for cavities. Dr. Wilderman offers a complete range of restorative dentistry procedures. Through personalized treatment, he can repair your damaged teeth and address the underlying causes of your jaw pain. To learn more about dental problems and jaw pain, contact our Philadelphia practice today.
Bruxism, TMD, and Jaw Pain
Bruxism and TMJ disorder are the two most common reasons for jaw discomfort. Bruxism causes you to clench your jaw and grind your teeth habitually. In most cases, these behaviors will mostly take place at night, so you may not be aware of your jaw movements. Bruxism often results from stress. The tension in your facial muscles is your body’s attempt to alleviate excess energy. You could also suffer from bruxism if you have crooked or missing teeth. It is natural for the top and bottom teeth to line up. Therefore, you could unwittingly move your jaw as you try to improve alignment.
The constant motion of your jaw can often lead to TMJ disorder. Your temporomandibular joints already sustain a lot of pressure from daily use. When you grind your teeth, it can wear down the cushioning discs inside your TMJs. The nearby soft tissues could also become inflamed, causing mild to severe jaw pain.
How Bruxism Can Damage Your Teeth
When you suffer from bruxism or TMD, you will probably notice your jaw pain first. You may not even be aware of dental damage until it causes additional discomfort. The teeth are very strong and durable, but bruxism puts far more pressure on them than normal. Without proper care, you could develop small cracks or chips in the outer surfaces of your teeth. Additionally, your protective enamel could wear away, putting you at a much higher risk for decay.
Treatment Options to Restore Your Smile
When you come to Dr. Wilderman for treatment, he will first repair your teeth. Fillings are the most common treatment for cavities. Though traditional metal fillings are available, tooth-colored restorations will protect the appearance of your smile. Plus, the material will bond better with your teeth to prevent further damage.
If you have more severe decay, or if dental erosion is particularly bad, you may benefit from dental crowns. These tooth-shaped restorations will fit all the way over your teeth to restore oral function. Made from advanced porcelain, our crowns will blend naturally with your smile. Crowns can also redistribute pressure if dental erosion has affected the force of your bite.
In some cases, Dr. Wilderman may recommend full mouth reconstruction. He can combine two or more restorative procedures to repair widespread dental damage. Reconstruction will typically take place in stages, and your dentist will create a one-of-a-kind treatment plan to meet your health needs.
Comprehensive Care to Reverse Jaw Pain
After repairing your teeth, Dr. Wilderman will treat your bruxism and/or TMJ disorder. In most cases, he can address both conditions with custom-made oral appliances. A bruxism mouth guard will prevent your teeth from touching so they can no longer grind together. Typically, you will only need to wear the appliance at night. A TMJ oral splint will actually reposition your jaw, reducing the pressure on your joints and preventing tissue inflammation. Thanks to Dr. Wilderman’s care, you could enjoy a healthier smile and lasting relief from your jaw pain.
Contact Us for Improved Oral Health
Contact our office to learn more about our treatment options.