There’s so much more to a healthy smile than just simply treating teeth. Many patients struggle with jaw pain, headaches, muscle stiffness, and so much more. Symptoms like these can be a sign of a deeper rooted issue such as Occlusal Disease and TMJ.
Occlusal Disease means there’s a misalignment of the teeth that’s extremely destructive to oral and even overall health. When teeth are line up correctly, muscles in the jaw are able to withstand forces associated with chewing. But when things do not line up correctly, this harmful imbalance can lead to big problems with the teeth, muscles, jaw joint individually - or a combination of all three.
Common Occlusal Disease symptoms include:
- Tooth cracking, breakage, sensitivity
- Enamel wear and gum recession
- Loss of bone support and muscle pain
- TMJ symptoms
Similar to Occlusal Disease, Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) can some of the same symptoms, causing pain and discomfort that’s debilitating for many patients. Oftentimes, these symptoms go undiagnosed or are thought to be signs of another issue.
The truth is, our temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect the lower jawbone to the skull are put to good use each day by means of speaking, chewing, and swallowing - that’s a lot of work! When there are problems within this area, they can be a true sign of TMD.
Common TMD symptoms include:
- Jaw pain and clicking during movement
- Painful, ringing, and/or stuffy ears
- Frequent headaches and neck pain
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
- Facial swelling and muscles spasms in the jaw
Any of these symptoms you see here are worth mentioning and exploring with Dr. Winegar. In order for your teeth to look and feel their best, we need to make sure you’re healthy everywhere else too.