TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) and Orofacial Pain
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), chewing muscles, and teeth are usually major contributing factors in temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) and can be related to any orofacial pain not related to teeth in the face, jaw, head, and neck. Some causes for TMD may involve your bite; history of trauma to the head, neck, or jaw area; stress; referred pain from your ears or neck, arthritis, or oral habits such as grinding teeth (also known as bruxing) and clenching teeth.
During your check-ups, the health of your TMJ and head and neck muscles will be evaluated. It may be recommended that you have a custom mouthguard made to relax your jaw muscles from clenching and bruxing during sleep. Long-term clenching and grinding has been shown to lead to fractured and worn down teeth, shifting teeth, gum recession, teeth and gum sensitivity, joint inflammation and arthritis.
Protecting your teeth with a mouthguard is the best way to keep your teeth healthy, especially if you’ve had any dental work done.