One of the most common symptoms of TMJ is tooth wear, such as chipped, cracked, or worn down teeth. TMJ treatment can stop further damage, but it won’t reverse damage that has already been done. That’s where porcelain veneers come in. Porcelain veneers are an attractive, durable way to repair damage done to your teeth, giving you a very attractive smile that can look as good as or better than your smile did before TMJ.
Our teeth are well designed for withstanding the normal stresses of biting and chewing, but when you have TMJ, the stresses are anything but normal. There are three ways that TMJ can modify your bite forces, resulting in excessive tooth damage.
Imbalanced Bite Forces: Your teeth are designed to work as a team. They stand up to your high levels of bite force by distributing the load. All teeth are supposed to receive only a fraction of the total bite force, which is divided among all the teeth participating in biting and chewing. But in TMJ, your bite forces are irregular, and one tooth or a few teeth may be tasked with bearing a disproportionate share of the bite forces.
More Constant Bite Forces: Your teeth are supposed to get breaks between chewing. Although our ancestors may have spent 90% of their waking hours chewing food with poor nutritional value, it’s been millions of years since we did that. Most of us spend most of our day with our teeth not being subjected to significant forces. But people with TMJ may experience constant stress on teeth as the jaws are working to find a comfortable position. This constant straining can lead to excessive wear and fracture risk.
Excessive Bite Force: In addition to TMJ, many people suffer from bruxism, clenching and grinding of teeth. During episodes of bruxism, people may trigger forces that are significantly greater than the normal biting and chewing forces they use every day.
How Porcelain Veneers Can Be Used as Part of TMJ Treatment
Porcelain veneers are thin facades of advanced ceramic. They can be used to replace the front and top of damaged teeth. In TMJ treatment, porcelain veneers are typically used to fix chipped or cracked teeth. They are applied using the normal porcelain veneers process.
Although porcelain veneers are highly durable under normal conditions, TMJ and bruxism can damage porcelain veneers the way they damaged your natural teeth. That’s why it’s important to make sure your TMJ or bruxism has been successfully treated before getting porcelain veneers. You may have to wear a special guard to protect your veneers against damage if TMJ or bruxism hasn’t been definitively treated.
If you would like to learn more about the role of porcelain veneers in TMJ treatment, please call (610) 272-0828 or contact Dental Excellence of Blue Bell, helping people across the Philadelphia area.