Sheridan Dentist Asks: Trouble with Your Jaw Joints?

sore jawYou may be fairly familiar with a number of dental issues that can threaten your oral health. For instance, most people can readily identify the term cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease, which afflict the structures of your teeth and their foundation of gum tissue and jawbone. However, in order for your mouth to work properly, it has to move properly, and fewer people could identify the condition that can threaten this movement by damaging the mechanisms that make it possible. Sheridan dentist, Dr. Coon, examines the issue that can prevent your mouth from operating properly, and can lead to a host of other dental issues.

What is TMJ Disorder?

Technically, your lower jaw (mandible) is the only part of your jaw that moves. The joints that allow this movement, called your temporomandibular joints (TMJs), connect your mandible to the temporal bones in your skull. If you place your hands in front of each ear, you can feel the joints and the muscles that surround them tense and relax as your jaw moves. In some cases, excessive stress or undue pressure can damage these joints or cause them to fall out of alignment, forcing your jaw to work extra hard to accomplish its tasks. The discomfort that often results from this damage can range from annoying to debilitating, depending on your condition’s severity, and can manifest itself as pain in your face, neck, jaws, head, shoulders, and ears. In fact, the symptoms of TMJ disorder (TMD) are shared by a number of other health issues, and TMD is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

Treat TMJ Disorder at your Sheridan Dentist’s Office

While experts cannot pinpoint a specific cause for TMJ disorder, they agree that stress is one of the most dominant factors to its development. For instance, excessive stress can lead to habitual tooth grinding and clenching, called bruxism, which can wear down your teeth as well as place your jaw under continued pressure. If you believe you may have TMJ disorder, or if you experience chronic headaches, earaches, facial soreness, difficulty chewing, or other discomfort in the head, face, neck, and shoulder region, then schedule a consultation at Grinnell Street Dental by contacting our Sheridan dentist office at (307) 672-7567. We welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and the surrounding communities.