Do you wake up with a headache or pain in your jaws? Do you wake with face, neck or shoulder pain? Do you ears ache, but there is no infection? Does your partner tell you that you grind your teeth all night? Does your jaw ever stiffen or even lock open? If any of these happen to you, you probably need to see Dr. William Harper to be evaluated for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome.
The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) closes and opens your jaw. In Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, some of your teeth are not in a correct position or shape, so they do not correctly mesh with the teeth above or below. If you don’t treat TMJ Syndrome, it will only get worse. There are several therapies Dr. Harper uses to correct the condition.
Bite Correction Studies
Dr. Harper will give you a complete comprehensive exam and make plaster models of your teeth. Studying these models, he can make an “occlusal analysis,” seeing just where each tooth meets its partner. He will find any dysfunction and create a personalized treatment plan.
Bite Correction Therapy
The aim is to bring the teeth into proper alignment and therefore eliminate joint stress and pain. The treatments for bite correction therapy can include one of the following:
• Reshaping teeth. Remove the tooth structure, using dental crowns or porcelain veneers to give the tooth a new shape that fits the bite properly.
• Repositioning teeth. The use of orthodontic treatment to reposition your teeth.
• Replacing teeth. Teeth may need to be replaced, using dental implants, bridgework or dentures.
Mouth Guard or Splint Therapy
There are TMJ mouth guards or dental splints that can relieve teeth grinding. These are used early in the treatment plan as an immediate step. The splint can help find a comfortable and stable bite position.
If you think you might suffer from TMJ Syndrome, call for an appointment with Dr. Harper at 757.243.1960 as soon as possible.