An orthodontist like Dr. James Shaheen is sometimes called upon to help diagnose and treat problems with the temporomandibular joints that hinge the jaw. In many of these cases a chronic condition like TMJ disorder can cause discomfort when biting down, aches in the muscles around your temples and in front of your ear, as well as a disconcerting clicking sensation.
TMJ disorder symptoms can often be related to several contributing factors. This could involve early onset arthritis in the temporomandibular joints, alignment issues with your oral structure or a past dislocation. Patients who frequently grind their teeth at night are also at increased risk of experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms.
If Dr. James Shaheen suspects your TMJ disorder discomfort is related to chronic night grinding, he might recommend that you sleep with a dental guard in your mouth. This simple, durable soft plastic dental appliance should be placed between your sets of teeth shortly before going to bed. This will help to cushion your teeth and reduce stress on your temporomandibular joints.
If you find the dental guards sold at the retail level feel uncomfortable or cause you to drool while sleeping Dr. James Shaheen might be able to provide you with a custom dental guard. This unit will be designed to closely match the shape of your teeth and the contours of your personal bite pattern.
If you live in the New Hudson, Michigan, area and you have been experiencing discomfort in your temporomandibular joints, you should call 734-707-8764 to seek further diagnosis and treatment at Smiles of Grand River.