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How to Spot TMJ Disorders

Do you often wake up with tooth pain? Are your chronic headaches ruining your morning? You may have a TMJ disorder. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) affect the function and comfort of the jaw joints, muscles, and teeth. Patients with TMD often experience painful symptoms. Here you can discover common symptoms of TMJ disorders as well as how we can address TMD in our Fullerton, CA dental office. We want you to know the signs of TMD before your symptoms worsen over time.

symptoms of TMJ disorders in Fullerton, California

Signs of TMD in Fullerton, CA

Common symptoms of TMJ disorders can include:

  • Tooth pain and wear: Patients who clench and grind their teeth because of TMD can experience frequent tooth wear and worn teeth. It can sometimes be difficult for patients to realize they have TMD because they clench and grind their teeth during sleep. However, one of the most apparent signs of TMJ disorders is tooth wear, which we can find at routine appointments.
  • Jaw pain: In addition to toothaches and frequent tooth pain, patients can experience jaw pain. TMJ disorders place pressure on the jaw joints and muscles. Misaligned teeth can also place pressure on the jaw. Patients with an unbalanced bite or crooked teeth are more likely to develop TMD because they have more pressure on their bite.
  • Jaw clicking and popping: Some patients with TMD may experience difficulty eating hard or chewy foods. When they do eat these foods, their jaw can pop or click. Jaw popping or clicking can be very painful and make it hard to eat.
  • Chronic headaches: Patients who have TMD often wake up in the morning with a headache. TMD headaches and migraines can be very painful, even if patients take pain medication to treat their headaches. Headaches are often a result of pressure on the teeth and jaw. Patients who wake up with headaches may also clench or grind their teeth at night unknowingly.

Checking for TMD

At home, if you notice jaw or tooth pain or clicking and popping when eating chewy foods, make a dental appointment. These are some of the most common TMD symptoms. We will thoroughly examine your smile and take x-rays to note any dysfunction in your jaw joints or tooth wear.

If you have a TMJ disorder, we can fit you for a custom nightguard. Wearing a nightguard during sleep prevents further wear to the teeth and jaw. Nightguards are acrylic mouthguards that can cover the upper or lower set of teeth. A nightguard stops patients from damaging their natural teeth and also relieves pressure on the jaw joints and muscles. Patients can even wear their nightguard during the day to notice when they clench or grind their teeth.

Do you think you may have a TMJ disorder? Call Fullerton Craft Smiles for treatment today at (714) 888-7008. Feel free to schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Patel on our website.