It is estimated that millions of Americans suffer from TMJ disorders. If you are one of those millions, you probably experience frustrating symptoms like difficulty opening your mouth all the way, popping or clicking noises in your jaw, and pain in your face, jaw, ears, neck, and shoulders. A dental bridge is one of the many treatment options available for easing your TMJ issues.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ affects the way your jaw joints and facial muscles work together when you open and close your mouth, bite, chew, and speak. It is believed to be caused by an uneven, mismatched, or otherwise misaligned bite. These bite issues can be the result of missing or damaged teeth, bruxism (teeth grinding), or injuries to the jaw. If you are missing one or more teeth, your remaining teeth shift position in your mouth, leading to an uneven bite and the resulting TMJ issues. Similarly, teeth that are cracked or worn down due to bruxism, injury, or even tooth decay can also lead to a misaligned bite.
How a Dental Bridge Could Help
A dental bridge is a restorative option that can return your teeth to their proper alignment and help resolve your TMJ symptoms. A dental bridge is a row of one or more prosthetic teeth that is held in place by crowns attached to healthy “abutment teeth” on either side. Bridges are used for patients who have one or more missing, damaged, or decayed teeth in the same area, but whose surrounding teeth are healthy and strong enough to support the bridge. A dental bridge not only improves the appearance of your smile, but it restores the alignment of your bite as well by preventing your natural teeth from shifting. This realignment should reduce or eliminate your TMJ symptoms and protect your teeth and jaw from further damage. Call our office today to learn more.