TMJ Pain And Bruxism Treatments Available for You

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Sometimes, a little pain is OK. For example, you can tolerate some pain in your feet to wear the right shoes for the right event. But when you have pain in your jaw, that’s not anything you should ignore. It could be a sign of TMD or bruxism.

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The TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)

You have two joints on either side of your head. They are called your temporomandibular joints, or TMJ for short. They connect your jawbone to your skull. Every time you open and close your mouth, you must use these joints. For some people, their TMJ gets sore and overworked. This can result in noises when chewing (popping and clicking mostly), stiffness in the jaw, or pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders. You can even get chronic headaches and migraines. These chronic TMJ problems indicate a health condition called temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.

Malocclusion and TMJ Pain

“Occlusion” describes how your teeth come together when you bite. “Malocclusion” is when your teeth do not come together in the right way, such as with an overbite or underbite. It can put extra stress on your jaw joints, triggering TMD and the pain that often comes with it.

Stop Grinding Your Teeth!

Your teeth are designed to come together every time you bite and chew, so some grinding is expected. However, this becomes a problem when you suffer from bruxism. This is the unconscious grinding of your teeth, especially at night. All of that extra grinding hurts you in two ways. First, it creates uneven worn spots in your enamel. This makes your teeth more likely to be sensitive to temperature extremes and have tooth decay problems. Second, it puts extra stress on your jaw like malocclusion can, likewise leading to TMD.

Headaches Caused by TMJ Dysfunction

Your body is a giant interconnected system. What happens to one part of your body can affect other parts. When you are suffering from TMD, the pain in your jaw can travel up to your head. That’s why people with TMD often have chronic headaches and migraines as well. Although chronic head pain could just be a symptom of stress, it could also be a sign of TMD. Bruxism can lead to headaches as well.

TMJ Treatment

There are two things we can do at our Jeffersonville, Indiana dentist office to help with bruxism and TMD. The first thing we do is offer patients an occlusal guard, also known as a night guard. This is similar to a small mouthguard and is worn over your teeth while you sleep. This can shift your jaw slightly so there is less pressure on it, giving it time to heal. We might also recommend that you work with a physical therapist to help quiet the muscles that are causing your pain.

If the problem persists, it may be caused by malocclusion. We can use orthodontics like ClearCorrect and Invisalign to fix it. Once your bite is in a healthy position, your jaw will heal more easily.

Call our Jeffersonville, Indiana dentist today at 812-406-0914 or use our convenient online form for your next TMJ treatment appointment.

Tracy R.

I come in here and I was a nervous wreck. I hadn't been to a dentist in years because of finances and because I was told at 18 years old that my teeth were going to rot from the inside out and there was nothing they could do, so I gave up on my mouth. I was told that and I gave up. I come in and he ...