When you have trouble opening and closing your mouth, or discomfort when you bite down and chew, this could mean strained jaw joint and bite imbalance. Without treatment, oral health issues could arise that worsen discomfort and risk damage to your teeth. In today’s blog, your Los Angeles, CA, dentist talks about how we correct trouble chewing.
The Causes of Your Strain
When you have trouble opening and closing your mouth fully, or if eating and chewing is painful, then you may need to seek treatment. Pain that radiates and spreads throughout your jaw and face could indicate the presence of a disorder. For example, TMJ disorder, which develops when the jaw joints are strained, could cause discomfort, as could bruxism, in which you grind and clench your teeth on a daily basis. Causes could include stress, injury to the face or jaw, tooth loss, and dental misalignment. Warning signs include pain in the face, jaw, neck, and shoulders. Headaches and migraines could occur, as could a popping or clicking in your jaw. Tooth sensitivity and toothaches often develop as grinding and clenching worsen.
Creating an Oral Appliance
How do we treat these disorders? Well, we could recommend the use of physical therapy and medication, and possibly even behavioral therapy. But the most common option is an oral appliance. The custom-made device is fitted to your smile and created based on detailed digital images and immersions we take of your smile. The device is worn as you rest at night, and helps reposition the jaw to ease strain. As an added bonus, the device also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth, a major factor in preventing further tooth damage.
You could also help ease discomfort with a few simple lifestyle changes. For example, be sure you avoid hard or chewy foods, as this could exacerbate symptoms. Be sure to use a warm washcloth to ease tension in the side of the face, and as needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Be sure you also wear your appliance as the dentist has instructed. Treatment could prevent major complications for your smile, keeping it whole and healthy, and offering you better quality of life. If you have any questions about how we treat pain when you bite and chew, then contact our team today to learn more.
Do You Have Questions About Improving Bite Function?
Our team is ready to help you maintain a healthy, functional, and attractive smile. If you want to learn more about how we improve the balance of your smile, then contact Ivan Lapidus, DDS Inc in Los Angeles, CA by calling 310-446-4867 today. Don’t live with worsening discomfort, let us know today!