Bruxism / TMJ Treatment
Fixing Your Bite with Bruxism and TMJ Treatment
While preventive dentistry places a lot of focus on keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy, your dental health involves more than just plaque and tartar. For instance, the way your bite works, how well your upper and lower teeth fit together, and the presence of certain conditions that affect your bite’s movement are also vital components of your dental health. For many patients, bruxism and TMJ treatment can help alleviate the discomfort associated with both conditions, as well as help prevent the extensive damage that either can cause.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the clinical name for the unconscious grinding of your teeth. Though you might notice it during the day, the more intensive instances of teeth grinding may occur most often at night, in your sleep. Over time, bruxism can lead to severe wear on your teeth, as well as damage such as cracks and fractures and discomfort in your mouth, jaws, face, and head.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder) occurs when your jaw’s joints, or TMJs, are damaged, inflamed, displaced, or otherwise disturbed, usually due to an imbalance in your bite or the continual stress of bruxism. Because TMJ disorders can develop in a variety of ways, the pain associated with the condition can range from mild jaw pain to chronic, severe headaches and difficulty opening and closing your jaw.
Typically, bruxism and TMJ disorder can be treated by bringing your bite back into proper alignment. For most mild to moderate cases, we can treat bruxism and/or TMJ disorder with a custom-designed dental appliance. Worn at night, the guard will fit over your teeth, much like a sports mouthguard, and will help protect your teeth from grinding as well as help your jaw sit more comfortably to alleviate pressure on your TMJs and jaw muscles.