TMJ and Bruxism Treatment
If you awaken with headaches and neck pain, you might first attribute it to a medical condition. But what if it is your teeth that are causing the problem? Specifically, bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, can lead to feeling less than top-notch upon waking. Many people with a teeth clenching and grinding habit experience headaches, facial pain, sensitive teeth and sore shoulders from their nocturnal habit.
At Dental On Cue, our experienced dentists know the signs of a bruxism habit and can provide you with an accurate diagnosis along with treatment options to improve your quality of life and protect your teeth.
- Bite marks along the insides of the cheeks
- Bony growths under the tongue
- Wear patterns on the teeth
- Overdeveloped (boxy) jaw muscles
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Gum recession and sensitivity
- Cracked and fractured teeth
While the cause of bruxism can vary from person to person, a bad bite (malocclusion), misaligned teeth, stress and certain medications all contribute to teeth grinding. Alcohol and tobacco use often exacerbate a nighttime grinding or clenching habit and can lead to serious oral health problems when left untreated.
Eventually, jaw joint pain, clicking, popping and locking jaws can indicate that the condyles of the jaw joint are not seating correctly. The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) wear down and lead to TMD – temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Treating Bruxism and TMD
In addition to adjusting lifestyle habits and managing stress, a custom nightguard (splint) places a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, minimising the damage to teeth caused by chronic force.
Sleep Apnoea and the Link to TMD and Bruxism
In many cases, we recommend a sleep study to rule out a serious medical condition called obstructive sleep apnoea, as it is commonly related to bruxism.
Custom splints are made of hard acrylic, which is softer than teeth enamel and absorbs the force caused by unconscious bruxing. Since they are custom designed, breathing is easier, and the nightguard will stay securely in your mouth when you need it most.
We will begin by taking impressions and creating moulds of the teeth. A bite registration will represent how the teeth come together for a more comfortable fit.
We will then send the information to our trusted technicians who will create a clear nightguard that will protect your teeth from wear, fractures and cracks. A nightguard will also promote proper jaw position, allowing those tired muscles to relax, and will also reduce inflammation.
As the swelling in the jaw, face and neck muscles decreases, you will feel more comfortable and rested upon waking.
If sleep apnoea is present, we will follow your sleep professional’s recommendation, which typically involves CPAP or oral appliance therapy.
We Welcome You to Get in Touch
For more information about nightguards in Kew, contact our Dental On Cue team to book an evaluation. Our dentists will help you decide how to best address your jaw pain so you can get better rest.