My Blog

Posts for: April, 2016

By Dr. Mark E. Richardson
April 15, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: TMJ  

How a custom-fit mouthguard can help with grinding and clenching

Do you have chronic headaches, pain in your face and around your ear? It’s possible you could be having problems with your temporomandibular joint, also called TMJ. It is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. It is also a unique joint that moves like a TMJsliding hinge, and because of its unique movement, it can shift into a bad alignment and become inflamed.

Dr. Mark E. Richardson in Kalamazoo, Michigan wants you to know some of the signs and symptoms of TMJ problems, such as:

  • Chronic headaches and an aching pain around or in your ear
  • Aching, radiating facial pain
  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Jaw clicking, popping or locking
  • Painful or difficult opening or closing of your mouth

To prevent or relieve minor TMJ symptoms, Dr. Richardson wants you to:

  • Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth
  • Avoid chewing gum and sticky foods
  • Eat soft foods
  • Take over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen
  • Gently self-massage the muscles in your jaw and face
  • Apply ice packs or moist heat to your jaws and face

TMJ problems can result in damage to your joint, and much of the damage can occur while you are sleeping. If you are under stress, you can also be clenching or grinding during the day and be totally unaware of it. To provide consistent relief and prevent damage to your joint, Dr. Richardson will create a mouthguard custom-made for you, designed to prevent clenching and grinding and relax your jaw.

In extreme cases of TMJ problems, surgery may be indicated, but it is always a last resort. If you have TMJ problems, don’t suffer! Get help before you have joint damage. With a custom-fit mouthguard, you are preventing damage to your TMJ. Call Dr. Mark E. Richardson in Kalamazoo, Michigan and find out more about how a custom-fit mouthguard can help you. Call today and get some relief!