How Does One Get TMJ?
Grinding teeth or teeth clenching is known as bruxism and may require night guards to remedy. Bruxism is a condition that can lead to cracked teeth, mouth pain, and possibly even the loss of teeth. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) sometimes develop from bruxism. TMJ is a very painful disorder of the jaw. Night guards can help ease and possibly prevent these conditions.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a medical term for people who grind or clench their teeth in their sleep. Many people who suffer from this disorder are not even aware of the problem. If you are experiencing dental problems, such as cracked teeth, or if you wake in the mornings with an aching jaw, it’s possible you have been grinding your teeth during sleep and could benefit from the use of a night guard.
If Bruxism is left untreated, there are numerous, sometimes severe, consequences such as:
- Worn or cracked teeth
- Headaches (sometimes acute)
- Hearing loss
- Jaw pain
- Loose or fractured teeth
What Causes TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint problems occur when the joint of the jaw, the joint where your bottom jaw is attached to your skull, becomes inflamed or injured. This is called TMJ, or sometimes TMD.
TMJ can be caused by a multiple of reasons, however, the most common causes are:
- Injury to the jaw, such as whiplash or blunt force trauma
- Dislocation of the disc that acts as a cushion within the joint
TMJ, like bruxism, is very painful but can sometimes be alleviated by using a night guard. Country Dental TMJ dentists in Cambridge, Fergus or Toronto, would like you to know that we can do a complete evaluation for you. Some of the symptoms of TMJ are:
- Clicking or popping noise in the jaw when eating or speaking
- Pain in your face, neck, or shoulders, especially when chewing or yawning
- Swelling in your jaw
- A “locking up” of your jaw
- Difficulty chewing
There are various treatment options for TMJ including night guards, heat or ice packs, massage, refraining from chewing gum, muscle relaxants, or sometimes steroids may be used. It’s been found that some people with TMJ symptoms benefit from antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. Sometimes a combination of these treatments works best.
Many people with bruxism and/or TMJ use a night guard when they are asleep. A night guard is a custom made, custom fitted dental appliance that fits inside the mouth to protect your teeth from damage while you are sleeping. A night guard will keep your teeth slightly separated and therefore prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth.
As the name implies, night guards are used only when you are sleeping. A night guard is a proactive way to protect your healthy teeth while avoiding more damage. Night guards generally relieve the majority of the pain for those suffering from bruxism and TMJ problems.
Studies show that those who do who not seek treatment for their TMJ or bruxism can experience up to 80 times more wear on their teeth per day than what is considered normal, as compared to those who do seek some form of treatment.
Here at Country Dental, we want you to know that you do not have to suffer from the pain or damage that bruxism and/or TMJ can cause you.
We can make a custom-fitted night guard that will protect your teeth. We can also teach you additional tactics that can help you deal with bruxism problems. For more information on TMJ, Bruxism or custom night guards please contact us.
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