When you visit the dentist in Elsternwick, you may need to see us for issues that are not just about your teeth. After all, these little gems, which are so beautiful and necessary to your health, are part of a system that is linked to your digestive tract, your lungs, and your head and neck. They all join up and sometimes there is a problem in one part of these areas that can affect many other parts.
Take stress for example. Many of us suffer from stress. It is the constant repression of the flight or flight response, triggered many times during the day in modern life. Traffic jams, office politics, kids, partners, daily routines can all trigger stress reactions and one way this shows up is in jaw clenching.
If we clench our jaws excessively, this can affect our teeth, our necks, our shoulders, and our heads, creating muscle aches, toothache, clicking, headaches, maybe even migraines. You can come to your dentist in Elsternwick at My Smile Clinic for help with jaw clenching, which has led to what we in the dental profession call TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.
TMJ disorders can also be triggered by tongue thrusting, or grinding your teeth at night, loud singing, playing a wind instrument, or nail biting.
Getting the treatment you need
Dr Geeta Perks, your dentist in Elsternwick, will be able to treat your TMJ disorder by finding ways to create the time and space for your over-worked jaw muscles to heal. One way to do this is to make you a splint, or mouth guard, to wear at night. Wearing one of these will stop you being able to bring your teeth together, thereby preventing clenching. They also stop you grinding your teeth, which, if not prevented, can cause them to crumble away over time.
If a mouth guard does not solve your TMJ disorder issues, then your dentist in Elsternwick can refer you to a specialist for further investigation.
If stress is showing up in your body as head, neck, jaw or shoulder aches, it may well be worth coming into see Dr Perks to find out if you have a TMJ disorder.