Dr. Melissa Kenfield has the experience and credentials you should look for when considering a dentist for TMJ treatment.
Dedicated to life-long learning, Dr. Kenfield has averaged __ continuing education credit hours (per licensing period) throughout her career; the minimum requirements for the state of Indiana are 20 continuing education credit hours per licensing period!
“Never thought I could say that I had a great time at the dentist. Once again thanks for changing my perspective on dentists. Would recommend this place to anyone.”
Dr. Melissa Kenfield, with a high-tech dental office located in Spencer, is an experienced TMJ dentist.
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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint connects the lower jaw to the skull and enables you to open and close your mouth, chew and speak. You can feel the TMJ if you place your finger in front of your earlobe and open your mouth.
Because your TMJ is a delicate joint, it can become damaged or inflamed easily. If this happens, the joint won’t move as freely as it used to. You might experience difficulty chewing or opening your mouth and suffer from pain and discomfort.
Dentists refer to temporomandibular disorders as TMD. TMD are various disorders that can affect the joint. TMJ pain, or TMD, can be caused by many factors, but the most frequent are:
The most common signs and symptoms of TMD are headaches (migraines and tension-type), joint soreness, muscular pain near the joint, limited movements, and painful clicking or popping sound when opening or closing your mouth.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, schedule an appointment with our office. Dr. Kenfield will examine your mouth and joint to determine the cause of this pain and advise you on easing the discomfort.
Video 01:00 | Teeth grinding also known as Bruxism, often happens at night during sleep. Bruxism may be related to stress and anxiety, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or temporomandibular joint.
Teeth grinding or Bruxism
Bruxism is one of the most frequent causes of TMJ pain. Patients that suffer from bruxism can either clench or grind their teeth. It is more common at nighttime, and patients often relate waking up in the morning with severe headaches and muscular pain.
Dr. Kenfield can recognize signs of bruxism during a clinical examination. Patients that grind their teeth have marks of tooth wear and even crack or chips in their teeth. If she suspects bruxism during a check-up, she will ask you a few more questions to confirm the diagnosis and recommend wearing a nightguard.
A night guard is a plastic protective device custom-made to fit over the upper or lower teeth. It prevents the enamel loss caused by teeth grinding, keeps your teeth strong and avoiding tooth sensitivity, and helps relax facial muscles. There are many different types of night guards, and what may work for one patient may not work for another.
Teeth clenching usually happens while you sleep, so perhaps you don’t even know that you grind your teeth. Dr. Kenfield will look for signs of bruxism and, if required, indicate a nightguard to protect your teeth against further wear.