At Anne Newman DDS, we are proud to offer temporomandibular joint dysfunction, otherwise known as TMJ, treatments to provide relief for our patients. TMJ is caused by an inflammation in the temporomandibular joint, which acts as a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ causes pain and discomfort along the jawbone and can make it painful to even move your jaw. While jaw pain and discomfort don’t always equate to TMJ, if you are also experiencing headaches, trouble chewing, or pain in the face, jaw, and ear, you’re more than likely experiencing TMJ.
Bruxism is often called teeth grinding. Though many people grind their teeth occasionally, other people seem to grind their teeth on a regular basis. This can damage your teeth and cause many other dental problems.
People who grind their teeth usually do it when they are sleeping. It can be caused by dental problems like an abnormal bite or missing teeth. Teeth grinding is also seen a lot with patients who suffer from sleep apnea. Stress and anxiety can also cause teeth grinding, both during the day and at night.
Since most people grind their teeth at night, they might not even realize they do it. However, patients who wake up constantly with a headache or a sore jaw may suffer from bruxism.
The easiest way to fix teeth grinding is by wearing a mouthguard at night. However, if the grinding is caused by stress, you need to find ways to reduce your stress. You may also benefit from taking muscle relaxers.
Caffeine can make teeth grinding worse, so you may want to cut back on coffee, soft drinks, and chocolate. You should also cut back on alcohol because many people grind their teeth after drinking.
It can be beneficial to use a guard, or covering, to protect your teeth from grinding while sleeping. Similar to how a mouthguard protects teeth during sports, this layer prevents damage to the teeth that can occur naturally.
There are a wide variety of different types of mouthguards, ranging from pre-formed pieces to ones that are custom fitted to your teeth and jaws. Some of these can even be formed at home through a boil-and-bite process.