Frequent headaches? Earaches? Neck or facial pain upon waking?
You may be suffering from a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Many people are affected by these symptoms and don’t think to mention them when visiting the dentist for a routine check-up. TMD is typically the result of an imbalance in the bite, which can have a variety of causes as well as symptoms. Dr. John Cranham has extensive training in the areas of TMD and bite disorders, enabling him to correctly diagnose the cause of the problem and develop a treatment plan with lasting results.
Common signs and symptoms of TMD:
- Shoulder, neck, facial pain
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
- Locked jaw or limited mobility in the jaw joint
- Teeth clenching, teeth grinding, often accompanied by tooth wear
- Chronic earaches
Teeth grinding and clenching , one of the more common signs of TMD, can often be the cause of chronic headaches and earaches experienced in the morning due to the pressure put on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) when this is occurring. Most people grind their teeth at night and are unaware that they are doing so. Teeth grinding is often noticed when additional dental health issues begin to surface as a result, such as gum disease and tooth damage.
Dr. Cranham is one of the few Mid Atlantic area dentists who uses the Sirona Galileos, a 3-D X-ray machine, to evaluate the TMJ and Tekscan technology to analyze the bite and how the teeth are fitting together. This, combined with his training and experience, provides patients with a more accurate diagnosis and a more personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Cranham will frequently suggest the use of a custom fit mouth guard for his Chesapeake area patients who grind their teeth. The mouth guard is typically worn at night to reduce teeth grinding and its effects on the TMJ and the bite. It also serves to protect the teeth from further damage. This conservative treatment can offer relief for many TMD patients with mild TMD problems.
In more complex cases, Dr. Cranham may recommend restorative procedures designed to realign the teeth and the bite.
If you think you may be suffering from a TMD and its effects, contact Dr. Cranham at his Chesapeake, VA dental practice to schedule a consultation.