CONTACT US TODAY
(650) 367-4967

Find a Post

Contact Information

Jean E. Barthman, DDS
801 Brewster Ave<br/> Ste 255
Redwood City, CA 94063
Ph: (650) 367-4967

Send E-mail

Meet Dr. Barthman

Dr. BarthmanBeauty, Health and Comfort. These words best describe the office of Dr. Barthman. Because of her years of experience and education, she possesses the latest knowledge and techniques in restorative and cosmetic dentistry to help you achieve optimal results.

Dr. Barthman is a Member of

  • American Dental Association
  • Las Vegas Institute for
  • Advanced Dental Studies

Featured Patients

Before Case
Before
After Case
After
Before Case
Before
After Case
After

Did You Know?

Above all else, Dr. Barthman wants for you to have a beautiful, new smile. Prevention is the key to staying healthy and so we recommend the following tips to get you on your way:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Chew sugarless gum instead of sugary varieties.
  • Floss daily and if possible, after every meal.
  • Prevent plaque and cavities by reducing your daily intake of sweet snacks.
  • Schedule a cleaning and oral examination with Dr. Barthman once a year.

 

How TMJ Disorder Can Damage the Teeth

June 01, 2020 @ 11:40 AM -- by Dr. Jean Barthman
Tagged with:

woman holding jaw because of TMJ pain

TMJ disorder (TMD) occurs when the jaw joints become inflamed. This painful condition can lead to a wide range of other oral health concerns, including bruxism and tooth damage such as chipping or breakage. TMJ treatment can help prevent dental damage and alleviate painful symptoms. In this article, Dr. Jean E. Barthman and our Redwood City, CA, team discuss how TMJ disorder can damage the teeth and explore ways to prevent these issues. 

Relationship between the Bite and the Jaw Joints

To understand how TMJ disorder can damage your teeth, we must first take a look at how your bite can affect the jaw joints. A healthy bite equalizes forces across the entire dental arch, promoting smooth and efficient operation. If the bite is uneven or if the teeth are severely misaligned, the jaw joints can overcompensate and become strained.

TMJ disorder often develops in individuals with bruxism, a condition characterized by chronic teeth grinding or clenching. Constant excessive pressure and force from bruxism can lead to pain, chipping, and fractures. Most notably, it can exacerbate TMD symptoms.

Types of Dental Damage Caused by TMJ Disorder

When the jaw joints are inflamed, it causes an imbalance in your bite. Swelling can lead to subtle changes that can drastically affect your oral health over time. Because bruxism and TMJ disorder so often go hand in hand, many patients suffer from dental chipping or fractures. In mild cases, these cracks can be superficial. 

In more severe instances, the teeth can actually become fractured and even lose foundational support. A particularly serious type of this damage caused by TMJ disorder is abfraction. This is a type of crack characterized by a notched groove on the tooth root near the gumline. Abfraction can occur when a tooth is literally forced to bend in its socket. Left untreated, abfraction lesions can lead to cracks and fractures.

Treatment and Prevention of TMJ Disorder

Though TMJ disorder may not be fully preventable, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of dental damage. At our Redwood City, CA, practice, Dr. Barthman offers two types of TMJ treatments:

  • TENSing: Also known as Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation, this treatment involves gentle muscle stimulation using a low-level electrical pulse. The goal is to relax these muscles and reduce tension around the jaw.
  • Orthotic splints: Custom oral appliances help place the lower jaw in a more favorable position. This keeps the teeth slightly apart and reduces the likelihood of TMD symptoms.

In addition to in-office treatments, there are also things you can do at home to reduce or eliminate discomfort associated with TMD. Here are some recommendations:

  • During flareups, eat soft foods.
  • Avoid chewing gum.
  • Perform massage and stretching exercises to relax the jaw muscles.
  • Manage stress appropriately.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to help reduce pain and swelling during a flareup.
  • Apply cold compresses to the jaws to reduce tenderness and inflammation. 

Learn More about TMJ Disorder and Dental Damage

If you have acute or chronic jaw pain, TMJ treatment could alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact our Redwood City, CA, practice online or call us at (650) 367-4967.