I’ve never had a cavity. My teeth are pretty healthy, with the exception of my dentist saying I grind them down a little. Lately, I’ve had general pain in the back of my mouth. I don’t know what a cavity feels like, but I have a friend who’s had jaw pain and hers ended up being TMJ. She didn’t know that until she saw a TMJ specialist. Should I see a dentist or TMJ Specialist?
Madison L. – Ohio
First, I want to clear up some common confusion. TMJ does not have a specialty, so TMJ Specialists are just dentists who have done some additional study to learn how to diagnose and treat TMJ. There’s not a required amount of study for dentists to do in order to call themselves a TMJ Dentist. So, if you do need to get TMJ treatment, make sure you check their qualifications.
That being said, I think you should just start off with an exam with your general dentist. Do you know why he hasn’t addressed your teeth grinding? That could cause significant problems to your bite. Its’ a simple fix. Usually, you just need to wear a simple mouthguard.
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