Full-mouth restoration, also referred to as reconstructive dentistry, is designed to correct the effects of tooth damage or traumatic injury and rebuild your smile. It can also do wonders for patients suffering from dental pain, a bad bite or malocclusion, jaw soreness, and a range of other symptoms of temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ).
A total mouth reconstruction includes a combination of dental procedures aimed at establishing a healthy relationship between your teeth, jaws, tendons, and the whole mouth. These procedures may include:
- Restorative dental treatments – fillings, inlays, bridges, dental crowns
- Implant dentistry – use of dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Cosmetic dentistry – teeth whitening, tooth bonding, porcelain veneers, gum recontouring
- Neuromuscular dentistry – correction of issues involving the bite and the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)
- Bruxism treatment – treatment for teeth grinding
- Orthodontics – traditional metal braces, Invisalign, retainers, spacers, and expanders
- Endodontics – root canal therapy
- Oral surgery – extractions, soft and hard tissue grafting
- Periodontal treatments – root planning, scaling, periodontal surgery
Full Mouth Restoration For TMJ Dysfunction
The TMJ – temporomandibular joint – is the ‘hinge’ that connects your jaw to the skull. It has multiple moving parts, which increase the number of areas that could go wrong and cause TMJ dysfunction.
Although the exact cause of TMJ dysfunction is not well known, professionals in the dental and medical field largely agree that misaligned teeth or uneven bites, also known as malocclusions, could aggravate the symptoms associated with it. An uneven bite can lock up jaw joints, leading to a number of symptoms linked to TMJ pain, such as pain while chewing, pain in and around the ear, locking of the joint, and general jaw pain.
As such, using a full-mouth restoration to treat malocclusions and other dental problems could also help improve TMJ.
Other Ways To Deal With TMJ
Reconstructive dentistry is only one of the many ways to address temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Alternative ways to deal with TMJ include:
- Waiting out the pain – Many patients claim that the TMJ pain goes away on its own after awhile.
- Relaxing – TMJ is associated with stress. So any relaxation technique can help address the problem.
- OTC solutions – Over-the-counter pain medications can help reduce discomfort.
- Oral treatments – Mouth guards, orthodontics, or retainers can help align the jaw and reduce pain and discomfort.
- Jaw exercises – Your dentist can recommend jaw exercises to help relieve pain and strengthen the jaw.
- Surgery – This is usually a last resort to address severe cases of TMJ dysfunction
Generally, there are many ways to treat TMJ dysfunction, including massaging or applying heat or cold to swollen areas to relieve pain. But a full-mouth reconstruction can certainly help relieve some of the symptoms.