TMJ Disorder & Bruxism Therapy in Greater Heights
It is common for a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and bruxism to be connected, although they are two distinctly different conditions. They both deal with stress on the jaw joints, but each have defining characteristics.
TMD refers to the jaw joints that are located on either side of your head in front of your ears that allow your jaw to move smoothly whenever you eat or speak. When they become misaligned or strained, it is referred to as TMD. Bruxism, however, refers to unconscious teeth-grinding and jaw clenching. They can relate to one another, but are definitely not the same thing.
Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding and Clenching
The most common cause of bruxism is stress. Whether it stems from your job, your family, or anything else, it is normal for someone to clench their jaw and grind their teeth due to daily stress. Most people are completely unaware while they are doing this, and many do it while they are asleep. Unfortunately, persistent bruxism can eventually wear down (and even break) your teeth and cause the TMJ (temporomandibular joints) to become misaligned, making it uncomfortable to eat, yawn, or laugh.
When you come in to Sunrise Dental for your regular check-up, the doctors will be able to notice the common signs of bruxism. This could include ground down or shortened teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, and muscle pain in the jaw. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to contact us as soon as you can.
Symptoms of TMD
While bruxism and TMD do have similar symptoms, there are a few that are unique to TMD:
- Constant popping and clicking of the jaw
- Stiff, painful jaw
- Swelling around the TMJ
- Jaw becomes stuck whether open or closed
- Chronic headaches or earaches
- A misaligned occlusion (bite)
- Consistent pain in the neck and shoulders
TMD/Bruxism Treatments in Greater Heights
Even though the conditions are different, they can be treated using the same method. Dr. Song, Dr. Chancellor, and Dr. Lee can provide you with a custom-made mouthpiece called a nightguard. It will provide a physical barrier between your teeth to prevent them from grinding together while you sleep. It can also be used to treat TMD because it helps place your jaw into a more natural alignment, which will allow the muscles to relax and heal.
It can be hard to figure out if you have either of these conditions on your own, so don’t wait to visit Sunrise Dental if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The earlier they are treated, the easier it will be. If you’d like to know more about how we treat bruxism or TMD, or want to schedule an appointment, please contact your dentist in Greater Heights today.