Is holiday stress a pain in the jaw?

For people who suffer with a bite or temporomandibular disorder (TMD), commonly called TMJ, the added stress of the holiday season can increase teeth grinding and other symptoms of TMJ.

Stress is a common factor in TMJ, frequently causing patients to clench their jaw or teeth, grind their teeth and experience increased tension in the jaw and the temporomandibular joint (the TMJ). Known as Bruxism, teeth grinding often occurs during sleep, leaving patients with unexplained HEADACHES, earaches and jaw pain upon waking. Stressful situations, such as the holiday season, can also trigger TEETH GRINDING and clenching and patients may not realize they are doing so.

At Barataria Dental, Dr. Burmaster and Dr. Hemphill have extensive post graduate education and specialized training in the treatment of bite disorders such as TMJ. Dr. Hemphill is a graduate of the Dawson Academy and is uniquely qualified to evaluate and treat TMJ.

The successful treatment of bite disorders such as TMJ can be complex and providing long term results relies on the proper diagnosis of the underlying imbalance in the bite. Drs. Burmaster and Hemphill will perform a thorough analysis of a patient’s entire occlusal system to identify the imbalance that is causing the bite problem and accompanying symptoms. One of a few Marrero area dentists who can effectively diagnose and treat TMJ and related disorders, Dr. Burmaster and Dr. Hemphill are committed to providing the best long term results possible, working closely with area specialists when necessary and supporting patients with the preventive care they need for optimal oral health.

There are a wide variety of procedures and treatments that can be used for TMD, starting with the use of a custom fit night guard to prevent teeth grinding. This conservative approach is often effective in relieving the symptoms of TMJ and preventing damage to the teeth or TMJ.

For patients who have damaged teeth- either from the TMD or as a root cause- Dr. Burmaster or Dr. Hemphill may recommend a restorative procedure to realign the teeth. This may involve reshaping the teeth with tooth bonding or crowns, realigning the teeth with orthodontics, or replacing missing teeth. All of these possible treatments will restore balance in the occlusal system.

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