Treating Teeth Grinding and Jaw Joint Strain
Disorders that affect your jaw joints can greatly impact your daily life. From heightened tooth sensitivity to chronic headaches, both TMJ disorder (TMD) – a problem with your jaw joints – and bruxism, or teeth grinding, can become progressively worse when left undetected and untreated. By visiting your dentist for preventive treatment, you may effectively avoid further damage.
Understanding TMJ Disorder
You have two TMJs (temporomandibular joints), one located on either side of your head. Commonly referred to as your jaw joints, these are the points at which your jaw connects to the rest of your cranium. TMJs allow you to open and close your mouth and to move your jaw from side to side. When one or both joints fail to function up to their full potential, you may suffer from a variety of uncomfortable side effects. While doctors cannot point to a single underlying cause, injury to the jaw joint, stress, the grinding and clenching of bruxism, and other factors may contribute to the following symptoms:
- Sore, tender jaw joints
- Painful chewing
- A jaw that locks, pops, or makes clicking sounds
- Discomfort surrounding your jaw joints in areas like your face, neck, and shoulders
- Earaches and headaches
Bruxism is a disorder characterized by grinding or clenching your teeth. In most cases, patients are unaware that they participate in this habit, which often occurs during sleep. Grinding your teeth places pressure on your jaw joints and may result in physical tooth damage and uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Worn tooth surfaces
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth breaks or fractures
- TMJ discomfort
Oral Appliance Therapy Offers A Solution
TMJ disorder and bruxism are closely related and cause similar discomfort. Whether you suffer from one or both, we offer oral appliance therapy as a non-invasive, comfortable treatment solution to improve both comfort and long-term oral health.