If You Have TMJ, A Sensitive Dentist Can Improve Your ExperienceJun 02, 2016, by
Why TMJ Can Make Dental Care Painful
People with TMJ experience many different symptoms, but jaw pain is very common. Jaw pain can be worsened if you have to open your mouth wide to allow the dentist to reach in. And having to hold your mouth open for long periods of time can cause your jaw pain and sometimes headaches to flare up.
This isn’t just a factor for dental visits, it can lead to pain when performing oral care at home. It can be painful to open your mouth wide to reach in with a toothbrush, or, especially, dental floss.
Depending on the level of discomfort, this may lead you to skip at home dental care and even miss your routine checkups, either partly or entirely. This has the unfortunate effect of leading to more need for more invasive dental treatment.
Making Dental Visits More Comfortable
Fortunately, there are many things we can do to help make your dental visits more pleasant. First, we will talk to you about your TMJ and how it tends to manifest. Then we will plan your dental treatments to minimize the problem. If it tends to develop over time at your dental visit, we will divide your treatments into shorter appointments so that you can get in and out before treatments start to manifest themselves.
We also won’t ask you to open your mouth any wider than necessary. Sometimes, we will use an intraoral camera to help us see what we need to see. That might mean we don’t have to look directly. If clamping down on bitewings tends to make your dental visits more painful, we will suggest other alternatives that can give us the information we need without you having to clamp down on them.
Since many TMJ symptoms can be caused or worsened by stress, we might recommend sedation dentistry to help you relax during your dental visit. If you would like, TENS might also be used to reduce tension in your jaw muscles. This might really help reduce TMJ-related muscle pain after your dental visit.
TMJ Treatment Is Available . . . If You Want It
If you have TMJ, a sensitive dentist can make your visits more comfortable. And if you decide you want to learn more about TMJ treatment, we can help you understand your options.