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Dentures and TMJ - The Forgotten Connection

Posted on 3/1/2024 by Weo Admin
3D rendered xray of a skull with the TMJ highlightedWhen it comes to dentures, most people think only about restoring their smile. However, what many don't realize is that dentures can also have a significant impact on your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), the hinge-like joint that connects your jaw to your skull.

Understanding TMJ

TMJ is a complex joint that allows you to move your jaw in various directions, including opening, closing, and chewing. When this joint is functioning correctly, you shouldn't experience any pain or discomfort. However, if the joint becomes misaligned or damaged, it can lead to a condition known as TMJ disorder.

Dentures and TMJ Disorder

Dentures can affect your TMJ in several ways:

•  Incorrect fit: Ill-fitting dentures can put excessive pressure on your TMJ, leading to pain and inflammation.
•  Vertical dimension mismatch: If dentures are not properly adjusted to restore the correct vertical dimension (the distance between your upper and lower jaws), it can alter the position of your jaw and put strain on your TMJ.
•  Bruxism: Dentures can sometimes cause bruxism (teeth grinding), which is a common contributor to TMJ disorder.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, it could indicate a problem with your TMJ:
•  Jaw pain or tenderness
•  Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your jaw
•  Headaches
•  Earaches
•  Dizziness
•  Difficulty chewing

Treatment Options

If you suspect that your dentures are affecting your TMJ, it's important to see your dentist as soon as possible. They can evaluate your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include:

•  Adjusting your dentures
•  Replacing your dentures
•  Prescribing medication to relieve pain and inflammation
•  Referring you to a specialist, such as an orthodontist or oral surgeon

Preventive Measures

To minimize the risk of TMJ problems associated with dentures, consider the following:
•  Choose a dentist experienced in fitting dentures.
•  Attend regular follow-up appointments to ensure proper fit and maintenance.
•  Practice good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of gum disease and other conditions that can affect TMJ.
•  Avoid chewing on hard objects.
•  If you have bruxism, wear a nightguard to protect your teeth and TMJ.
By understanding the connection between dentures and TMJ, you can make informed decisions to protect your oral health and overall well-being. Remember, dentures are not just about restoring your smile; they can also impact your TMJ, so it's crucial to prioritize regular oral care and restoration dentistry to maintain a healthy relationship between the two.

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At Thurston Oaks Dental, we have all the amenities to make you feel at home in our office. We look forward to meeting you and serving your dental needs.
Thurston Oaks Dental, 4305 NE Thurston Way, Suite A, Vancouver, WA 98662 \ (360) 514-9212 \ \ 6/19/2024 \ Associated Words: dental office, vancouver wa, dental office vancouver wa, vancouver dental office