Is your child constantly complaining of jaw pain? If so, Michael Brody, DDS, Dana Storch, DDS, and the team offer safe and effective TMJ treatments at Brody Pediatric Dentistry in Aventura and Miami Beach, Florida. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, causes pain and soreness in the jaw that can affect your child’s ability to chew and sleep. To learn more about TMJ, call Brody Pediatric Dentistry or schedule an appointment online now.
The temporomandibular joints, located on each side of the jaw, connect the lower jaw to the skull. These hinge-like joints allow your child to talk, chew, and move their jaw in all directions with ease. TMJ is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joints or the muscles, tendons, and tissues surrounding them.
TMJ symptoms can range from mild to intense, depending on the severity of your child’s disorder. Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ include:
Pain with TMJ can become chronic without treatment. The condition often worsens over time, leading to poor sleep quality, neck pain, tension headaches, and more.
While there are many factors that can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder, the most common causes of TMJ in children and teens include:
Teeth grinding happens when your child rubs their upper and lower teeth together. The condition commonly happens at night when they’re asleep. Jaw clenching typically affects the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints. Clenching these muscles can lead to chronic jaw pain and discomfort.
Trauma to the temporomandibular joints can change your child’s bite and make moving the jaw difficult.
If your child has malocclusion or a bad bite, their teeth don’t fit together properly. That eventually puts stress on the temporomandibular joints. It can also put uneven weight on certain teeth, which can cause cracks and chips in your child’s smile.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic joint inflammation. Your child’s joints, including their temporomandibular joints, may feel stiff and sore.
The team at Brody Pediatric Dentistry recommends conservative treatments for TMJ, such as:
If your child has TMJ from chronic teeth grinding, a custom-made mouth guard can help your child rest their jaw comfortably while protecting their teeth from erosion.
A splint is similar to a night guard, but it specifically allows your child’s jaw muscles to relax by holding their teeth in a comfortable position.
When your child has TMJ, certain diet and lifestyle changes can help relieve their jaw pain. Avoiding chewing gum, sticky candies, and hard foods as often as possible relieves tension from their temporomandibular joints and muscles.
To learn more about TMJ, call Brody Pediatric Dentistry or schedule an appointment online today.