TMJ, TMD, and Prosthodontic Occlusal Treatments

Prosthodontists are experts when it comes to complex dental cases that involve the jaw and structure of your oral cavity.

When you trust a prosthodontist to oversee your oral care, you could not be in better hands.

Jaw issues that a prosthodontist may address include:

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) therapies
  • Crossbites
  • Overbites
  • Underbites

TMJ and TMD

The term “TMJ” refers to the hinge-like joint that marries your jaw to your skull. When this joint does not function correctly or if you develop temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), the symptoms may include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Increased jaw pain when chewing
  • Headache
  • Clicking sound in joint
  • Jaw locking

With today’s dental technologies, however, TMD is very treatable!

Causes and Treatments for TMD

Causes of TMD may include:

  • Genetics
  • Trauma
  • Bruxism

Bruxism means teeth grinding and clenching. Many patients do one or both of these damaging behaviors while sleeping and are not even aware that they are doing it.

In addition to TMD, teeth grinding and clenching may lead to:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Increased cavities
  • Tooth loss

A prosthodontist addresses the reasons behind your TMD and may prescribe a nightguard to keep you from grinding and clenching while asleep. A nightguard is a custom dental appliance that fits your unique oral cavity contours, which means it is comfortable and will feel natural. 

If you grind and clench due to stress, we can recommend stress relieving therapies or refer you to a counselor to address the issues that are causing stress.

In severe situations, TMD may require surgery.

Occlusal Issues and Prosthodontics

Occlusion refers to the natural way your upper and lower teeth come together. In the event of a malocclusion—teeth not coming together correctly—a prosthodontist is a good choice for treating the issue.

There are a few types of malocclusions

  • A crossbite refers to malocclusion where only one or a few teeth are not lining up in reference to the upper and lower jaw
  • An underbite means teeth on the lower jaw protrude past teeth on the upper jaw
  • An overbite means teeth on the upper jaw protrude past teeth on the lower jaw

Bite issues lead to wear on enamel, cavities, tooth loss, jaw pain, and may contribute to TMD.

A prosthodontist may prescribe braces, Invisalign, or other specific therapies to address bite issues.

In rare cases, jaw lengthening surgery is required.

Contact Our Dental Office

If you’re experiencing TMD symptoms or bite issues, don’t suffer through the pain; get in touch with our dental office today to schedule a comprehensive prosthodontic assessment.