When bruxism or malocclusion is allowed to go untreated, it can lead to a very serious disorder: temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD. Also called temporomandibular joint disorder, TMD is the result of long-time wear and tear on the joints that are on each side of the face and connect the lower jaw to the skull. Other causes of TMD include arthritis and jaw trauma. This disorder can lead to chronic pain of the head, neck, and shoulders. It can even prevent opening and closing the mouth fully, which affects speech and chewing. All of these symptoms can dramatically impact quality of life.
If you experience the following symptoms, contact the Stuart, FL office of Dr. Sohl to schedule an appointment:
- Teeth that do not meet when you close your mouth or when you chew
- Clicking, popping, or locking of the jaw
- Aching, cramping, or pain in the jaw or ear
- Inability to completely open or close the mouth
Treatment for TMD is available, but the earlier it is caught, the more effective the treatment. If malocclusion causes your TMD, resolving the bad bite will often bring relief. If bruxism causes your TMD, a custom nightguard (which can be fitted and placed in our Stuart, FL office) will alleviate the stress on the affected joints.