TMJ and Bruxism
For patients who suffer from jaw pain, eating, speaking, and yawning can pose an uncomfortable challenge.
At Hillcrest Dental, Dr. Namrata Shah helps alleviate the symptoms associated with a jaw condition called TMJD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, which is often associated with nighttime teeth clenching and grinding.
What is TMJD?
The term TMJD refers to a number of jaw disorders that can cause a host of symptoms.
Symptoms may come and go or remain constant and often include:
- Clicking, popping, or locking of the jaws
- Teeth sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Headaches and migraines
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Facial swelling or tenderness to the touch
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Many patients report that symptoms are worse when they feel stressed or cannot sleep well. Teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) is often worsened by lifestyle habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, certain prescription medications, and a high-pressure lifestyle.
Diagnosing TMJ Conditions
The first step in determining how to best treat problems associated with your jaw joints is to schedule a comprehensive exam with Dr. Shah. She will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth to determine whether you have a nighttime teeth grinding habit.
Some indicators include:
- Bite marks along the inside of your cheeks
- Gum recession
- Premature wear to your teeth
- Bony growths under your tongue (called tori)
- Swollen, painful muscles
- Damage to your jaw joints
Once Dr. Shah is able to determine if you suffer from TMJD, she will recommend treatment based on your needs and symptoms.
Treatment for TMJ and Bruxism
Often, the fist line of treatment to relieve painful jaw joints is a custom-designed oral appliance, or occlusal splint.
Our oral appliance is similar to a nightguard but with a few differences. Your splint will provide guidance to help your jaw seat in a comfortable position. Through this guidance, your jaw joints, tendons, and muscles will relax, inflammation will reduce, and you will feel relief.
We may need to adjust your splint periodically to provide the greatest relief.
Nightguards for Bruxism
In addition to providing relief for your jaw, your splint provides a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, either with acrylic or a deprogramming device that separates your teeth completely as you sleep. Because your teeth will not come into contact, they are protected from the cracks, wear, and chips that are common with a teeth grinding habit.
Are You Experiencing Jaw Pain?
Help us find relief for your symptoms and call our Castle Hills, TX dental office for jaw pain treatment. Dr. Shah approaches care in a comprehensive way that gives our patients long-term solutions to the problem of headaches, migraines, jaw pain, and teeth grinding.
We look forward to helping you experience greater comfort while you sleep and throughout the day!