Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ Disorder) is a dental problem that isn’t spoken about very often. However, we feel it is important that our patients know about the disorder, and the symptoms to look out for.
What is the Temporomandibular Joint?
Better known as the ‘TMJ’, it is the hinge that connects the upper and lower jaw. It is one of the most complex joints in the whole body and is responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side.
What causes TMJ Disorder?
The onset of this disorder can come from a variety of factors. When the joint suffers from any trauma, it can become damaged and inflamed. Injuries to the teeth or jaw, misalignment of the teeth, teeth grinding, stress, arthritis and even poor posture can lead to you suffering from TMJ disorder.
What are the symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
There are many symptoms to look out for that can be a sign that you are suffering from TMJ disorder. It is important to speak to your dentist if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Pain or pressure behind the eyes
- Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your mouth
- Pain when yawning or chewing
- Tenderness of the jaw muscles
- A sudden change in the way your upper and lower teeth close together
How can TMJ Disorder be treated?
Unfortunately, there is no complete cure for TMJ disorder. However, with appropriate treatments, your pain and discomfort can be kept under control. Your dentist will be able to assess which factor is causing your TMJ problems and put together a plan of how to reduce your symptoms. Treatments can include:
- Applying moist heat packs
- Taking muscle relaxant medication and other pain relief
- Wearing a bite plate while you sleep
- Learning relaxation techniques
At Gwersyllt Dental Care, our dentists are experts in identifying symptoms of TMJ disorder and will be able to put together a treatment plan unique for you.
To book an appointment with us, please call us on 01978 757 409.
Toothache, abscesses or damage to teeth are problems that could prompt a call to the emergency dentist. But there are things we can do to help avoid the pain and inconvenience that goes along with needing dental help fast.
Visiting the dentist regularly
It’s something you probably look forward to as much as getting your car MOT’d. But regular dental checkups are essential if you want to stop your teeth ’breaking down’. Checkups allow your dentist to spot any issues before they become an emergency. Because everyone is different, your dentist might suggest you have checkups every six months or once a year.
Looking after teeth and gums
Regular checkups are an important element of avoiding a dental emergency. But how we look after our teeth in between appointments is just as crucial. Here are three ways to stay on top of your oral health:
Regular cleaning and flossing
The British Dental Health Foundation recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day.
Replace your toothbrush every three months (or sooner if you’ve been ill). Use fluoride toothpaste and aim to floss every day or at least three times a week.
Curb the junk in your diet
You probably had it drummed into you as a kid that eating sweets will rot your teeth. Well, unfortunately, it’s true. So if you need a snack, try a lump of cheese, some plain yogurt or some raw veg crudités. These foods are not only better for your teeth; they’re better for your body. We all like a few sweets, crisps and chocolates from time to time, but they do less damage to teeth when eaten at mealtimes.
Protect teeth from damage
Trauma to the mouth from accident or injury is another way you might need an emergency dentist appointment. Wearing a gum shield if you play contact sports, or a full-face helmet if you ride motorbikes will help protect teeth from impacts. And avoid using your teeth to open things or hold keys.
Even with the best care, sometimes we need dental help in a hurry. So if you are in pain and need an emergency appointment, please call Gwersyllt Dental Care in Wrexham on 01978 757409 in or out of practice hours.
Anybody who has ever had a toothache will testify that it’s one of the worst pains imaginable. When you hear the word ‘tooth pain’ it sounds pretty harmless. It isn’t until you actually experience a toothache that you realise just how unbearable it can be. So what exactly is it and why does it occur?
Understanding tooth pain
Tooth pain can affect the teeth and the jaws and it is considered to be the first sign of tooth decay. It affects people differently. Some will feel constant pain, while for others it will come and go. You may also find that eating or drinking something makes the problem worse. This typically occurs with foods that are either really hot or really cold. Many people also notice the pain is worse at nights than at any other time of day.
You’ll get tooth pain when the dental pulp located in the innermost layer of the tooth is inflamed. Dental pulp basically refers to delicate tissue that contains numerous blood vessels and sensitive nerves. There are many potential causes of inflamed dental pulp and the main ones include:
- Tooth decay
- Damage to the tooth
- Broken or loose fillings
- Periapical abscess
- Receding gums
When you suffer with tooth decay, it causes small cavities in the hard surface of your tooth. You may also have some damage to the tooth, such as a small crack. Often these cracks are extremely tiny and difficult for the naked eye to see.
If you have a bacterial infection, it can cause pus to build up at the end of the tooth. A Periapical abscess can be extremely painful.
Finally receding gums can expose the softer, sensitive roots of a tooth and that can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort.
Other causes of tooth pain
While the majority of tooth pain is caused by a problem with the dental pulp, there are a few other causes that could be to blame. These include:
- Periodontal abscess
- Swollen gums
- Joint injury in the jaw
A collection of pus could form in the gums if you have a bacterial infection. If a tooth is breaking through, you could also experience pain and swelling in the gums surrounding it. Or there could be a problem with the joint in the jaw.
If you have tooth pain please contact us today on: 01978 757 409