June 2022

What You Need to Know About TMJ

Cheek pain face pain TMJ Bruxism Have you noticed lately that your jaw has been hurting, tight, and tensed up? Have you been getting headaches? Jaw problems seem to be more and more common, and a joint disorder may be the reason for your pain. Read on for information on TMJ, dealing with the pain, and how your dentist can help.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint connects the skull and the lower jaw bone. It is often known as the “TMJ,” although this has also come to be the catch-all term for jaw joint pain. “TMD,” for “temporomandibular joint disorder,” is another way to refer to problems with the jaw.

It is really no surprise that serious problems can develop with this joint, as it is in use all of the time. You may develop headaches, pain or a stuffy feeling in the ears, pain around the ear, tenderness in the jaw, and even muscle aches in the shoulders and neck. You might hear a clicking or popping noise when you open and close your mouth, and sometimes it may feel like your jaw “locks up.”

Here are some other things you should know about TMJ:

• Eating chewy foods, such as bagels, can trigger your TMJ pain. Avoid chewy and hard foods, but also avoid chewing on nonfood items such as pen caps and pencils.

• Don’t use your teeth as tools, such as for opening packages.

• Bad posture can make TMJ pain worse.

• TMJ can be caused by genetics, a connective tissue disease, or an injury to the jaw. It can also be the result of years of grinding your teeth. You may have TMJ if you are missing a tooth, as this causes your teeth to move out of place and your top and bottom teeth to become misaligned.

• Stress can aggravate your TMJ. Eliminating stress may be impossible, but you can try to find ways to reduce it.

• An over-the-counter pain reliever, a heating pad, and massaging the jaw joint can help relieve the pain.

If you think you might have TMJ, talk to your dentist right away. Call Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center today, at (610) 272-6949!

Why You Should Replace That Lost Tooth

Middle age grey haired man wearing casual clothes smiling cheerful showing and pointing with fingers teeth and mouth If you have been missing a tooth for a while, you may have grown used to it, and you’re probably wondering why you should bother doing anything about it. After all, what can it hurt to have a missing tooth? However, there are a few reasons why you should consider doing something about a missing tooth, such as getting a dental implant!

A missing tooth can affect your appearance

A mouth full of teeth is needed to keep not only your teeth healthy, but your facial muscles healthy as well. When you are missing a tooth, the other teeth can start to move, which can affect your jaw bone and your facial muscles. Your muscles and facial skin may start to sag, making you look older than you really are.

A missing tooth can affect your overall health

Having all of your teeth means they can keep each other stable and in place. A missing tooth gives the other teeth the chance to shift around, which can increase your risk for tooth decay (it can be difficult to get teeth really clean if they are too close together) and gum disease. Because it can also lead to changes in your jaw muscles, it can lead to a joint disorder such as TMJ, which can cause headaches and jaw pain.

A missing tooth can affect your self-esteem

Having a gap in your teeth may make you self-conscious when you talk, smile, or laugh, and over time you may try to avoid doing anything that might show you are missing a tooth. It can even lead to difficulty talking, which may further affect your self-esteem.

A missing tooth can affect how you enjoy food

Do you find yourself avoiding chewing on one side of your mouth because you’re a missing a tooth? Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy your favorite foods without having to think about which side to chew on the whole time?

You don’t have to just live with a missing tooth. Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center can provide you with a dental implant that looks and feels just like a real tooth! Call (610) 272-6949 for an implant consultation appointment today!


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