TMJ Treatment & Teeth Grinding
The TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint, serves as a buffer and barrier between the upper and lower jaws. When not functioning properly, it can be the source of multiple symptoms, ranging from slight jaw discomfort to severe pain and migraine headaches. Unfortunately, more than one third of people today grind their teeth (usually in their sleep), which increases the chances of suffering from a TMD (temporomandibular disorder).
Before any treatment is recommended, a complete TMJ exam is done to determine what is the cause of your particular problem. TMD can be caused by muscular, joint, or physical deformity issues, so it’s important to know the source of the problem. Often, more than one treatment method is necessary to stop the cycle of pain. We may recommend splint therapy, physical or massage therapy, home treatment exercises, or alterations in diet. Sometimes, dental treatment is necessary in order to correct an unstable bite or to restore worn teeth and reestablish guidance. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxers may be prescribed.
Tooth Grinding & Night Guards
Tooth grinding, officially called bruxism, is a widespread problem that affects millions of people. Although there are a multitude of things that can combine to contribute to this problem, the solution is fairly simple.
Because there is no way to prevent you from clenching or grinding, the best treatment is to have a custom night guard or splint made to prevent any damage to your teeth, joints, and supporting structures. A night guard also decreases the chances that you’ll develop some sort of TMJ problem. Proper diet, exercise, and stress management are also very helpful in aiding treatment.