Do you have recurring headaches that have no apparent cause?
Do you frequently experience neck, ear or facial pain?
Many people suffer with these symptoms but never think to mention them when coming in for a routine care visit with Family and Spa Dentistry as they are not ones we typically associate with dental health problems. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) can often be the cause of headaches, earaches and radiating facial pain that is otherwise unexplained. Patients suffering with TMD often don’t realize that they are until other dental health issues arise such as gum disease or damaged teeth.
In her Pennington area dental practice, Dr. Vagnozzi-Bucci sees patients with TMD and takes the time to examine the entire occlusal system in order to determine the cause of the imbalance within the bite that is causing the TMD. There are several signs and symptoms of TMD:
- Pain in the temples or back of the head
- Morning headaches
- Pain in the shoulders, neck and upper back
- Migraine headaches
- Teeth grinding, teeth clenching
Teeth grinding is the most common symptom of TMD and can also be the most damaging. Teeth grinding usually occurs during sleep and places great stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), leading to headaches and other radiating pain. It can also be the cause of cracked teeth, gum disease and other problems if it goes untreated. Dr. Vagnozzi-Bucci will frequently prescribe the use of a mouth guard for teeth grinding. This custom fit mouth guard is to be worn generally at night to reduce the stress and/or damage caused by teeth grinding and alleviate headaches and other symptoms. This conservative approach is often the main course of treatment for those with mild TMD and can bring the relief a patient has been waiting for!
For more severe cases, or situations where damage to the teeth has occurred, Dr. Vagnozzi-Bucci may suggest a restorative procedure to bring the bite back into balance.
If you are concerned that you may have an undiagnosed TMD, contact Family and Spa Dentistry in Pennington, NJ to schedule a consultation.