Protecting Your Smile and Jaw Health
TMJ and bruxism are two related conditions that often result from stress and/or issue with dental alignment. Bruxism can severely weaken your teeth and lead to TMJ Disorder (TMD). In turn, TMD can cause significant facial pain and chronic headaches, as well as difficulty opening and closing your jaw.
Causes and Treatments of Bruxism and TMJ
Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, is often the result of stress. As adrenaline courses through your body, your muscles may eliminate this excess energy by clinching your jaw and grinding your teeth. Alternatively, bite imbalance or missing teeth may cause bruxism, since you may unconsciously try to bring your teeth into the correct positions.
Bruxism can often lead to TMJ Disorder, since the constant clinching and grinding will place tremendous pressure on your jaw joints. TMD results from inflammation in the ligaments and muscles around your jaw. Alternatively, you could develop TMD if the cushioning discs inside your jaw joints come out of position.
In most cases, we will treat both conditions with a small, custom-made mouthguard or oral splint. A bruxism device will typically fit over your teeth, keeping them from touching. A splint can realign your jaw to reduce the pressure on your TMJs. Usually, you will only need to wear the device while you sleep. Most patients find these mouthguards to be quite comfortable, and they are able to adjust to them easily.
Do You Struggle with TMJ or Bruxism?
Often, grinding and clinching happens at night, so you may not even be aware that you are making these motions. However, if you notice that your teeth are starting to wear down, or if you see small cracks in your teeth, these may be indications of bruxism. Additionally, facial soreness, headaches, and dental sensitivity are all symptoms of chronic teeth grinding.
TMD causes many of the same symptoms, in addition to:
- Jaw and facial pain
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Jaw stiffness or an inability to open or close your mouth all the way
- A popping noise when you open or close your jaw
- Ringing in your ears
- Pain in your neck and upper shoulders
The Importance of Treatment
Bruxism and TMJ treatment can have tremendous benefits for your health and overall wellbeing. First, treatment can reduce headaches, facial pain, and other discomfort. If you suffer from bruxism, it can also prevent wear and tear on your teeth. Without treatment, you may eventually require dental crowns or other restorative dental work.
Find Relief with TMJ and Bruxism Treatment
Relieve chronic bruxism and TMJ discomfort with comfortable, customized treatment. To find out if you need TMJ or bruxism treatment, call Scott Dooley Dentistry in Garland, TX, today at 972-495-8100. We also proudly serve the residents of Dallas, Richardson, Wylie, Sachse, and all surrounding communities.