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Dentures and TMJ - What You Need to Know
If you currently wear dentures, you are probably familiar with many of the common issues they cause, such as gum irritation and slipping out of place. What you might not know is that sometimes, dentures can lead to complications jaw pain, neck pain, and headaches. These are symptoms of temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disorder. TMJ disorder can be caused by dentures that do not fit properly. Optimum Oral Surgery Group can help.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder is a term that refers to some different conditions that affect the health and functioning of your temporomandibular joints, your jaw, and your mouth in general. These issues, such as bruxism or poor tooth alignment, put excessive pressure on your jaw and TMJ, causing irritation and inflammation. These issues then lead to pain that can interfere with the normal functioning of your mouth.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Jaw and TMJ pain are some of the most common symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. Other symptoms include:
How Do Dentures Contribute to TMJ Disorder?
For some patients, TMJ disorder does not develop until after tooth loss, when the teeth have been replaced with dentures. This can be due to a few different reasons. One of these reasons is because your dentures do not fit correctly. If your bite is off, your jaw muscles spend a substantial amount of time trying to get back into proper alignment. Because of this, the muscles become overtired. Additionally, an improper bite can put excessive pressure on your TMJ, which can then lead to irritation, inflammation, and extreme discomfort.
Another cause of TMJ disorder with dentures is caused while you are asleep and are not wearing your dentures at all. Your teeth play an important role in keeping your jaw in proper alignment. Without your teeth, your jaw spends all night in an improper position, which can lead to bruxism and TMJ disorder.
Treating TMJ Disorder for Denture Wearers
There are a few ways that TMJ disorder can be treated when you have dentures. One way that this can be done is with neuromuscular dentures. These types of dentures are specifically designed with your jaw muscles in mind. They are made in such a way as to help you achieve an optimal bite, ensuring even distribution of pressure to prevent bruxism and TMJ disorder.
Another way we can help to treat TMJ disorder is with a specially made night guard. This type of oral appliance is designed to hold your jaw in proper alignment while you sleep. It also helps to absorb the impact of grinding and clenching while you sleep, preventing pressures on your jaws and your TMJ, alleviating your pain.
Finally, another way to help avoid TMJ disorder when your missing teeth have been replaced with dentures is to trade your dentures in for dental implants. Dental implants are placed in such a way as to create an optimal bite. They are also a permanent solution that remains in place at all times, functioning exactly like your natural teeth. With this type of restoration, we can help to take the pressures off of your TMJ, alleviating your pain and restoring your quality of life.
If you have noticed symptoms of TMJ disorder while wearing your dentures, we can help. Call Optimum Oral Surgery Group today at (856) 437-4432 to schedule your consultation.