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TMJ Disorder - Grinding / Clenching

The Temporalmandibular Joint (TMJ)

TMJ 

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. It permits the lower jaw (mandible) to move and function.

TMJ disorders are not uncommon and have a variety of symptoms. Patients may complain of jawache, earaches, headaches and limited ability to open their mouth. They may also complain of clicking or grating sounds in the joint and feel pain when opening and closing their mouth.

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

Determining the cause of a TMJ problem is important, because it is the cause that guides the treatment.

One of the main cause of the TMD (Temporal Madibular Disorder) is facial muscle spasm. Finding your neuromuscular jaw position is the most important step in TMJ treatment. This is to prevent muscular imbalances that could lead to instability of the teeth, bone and posture. When the harmony of the teeth, facial muscles, and temporomandibular joints no longer exists, symptoms of what has been identified as TMJ/TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) arise.

Some symptoms of TMJ are:

  • Headaches
  • Neck/Shoulder aches
  • Jaw pain
  • Sensitive and sore teeth
  • Clenching of the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Facial pain
  • Worn down teeth
  • Ear congestion
  • Forward head posturing
  • Clicking/popping in the joints
  • Limited opening of the mouth
  • Tingling in the fingertips

If you are suffering from any of these painful symptoms, we can help. Please contact our team today to schedule a consultation and get proper referral for treatment.

Grinding (Bruxism) & Clenching

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other complications can arise.

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to our dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

One of the most common cause that caused grinding and clenching is STRESS.

Stress may trigger pain in the jaw muscles that is very similar to that caused by TMJ problems. Affected patients frequently clench or grind their teeth at night causing painful spasms in the muscles and difficulty in moving the jaw. Patients may also experience a combination of muscle and joint problems. That is why diagnosing TMJ disorders can be complex and may require different diagnostic procedures.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps eventually needing extensive dental treatment.

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in TMD/TMJ Disorder.


Treatment

Occlusal Splint

Occlusal Splint

The best early treatment for grinding and clenching is OCCLUSAL SPLINT.  Since most of grinding and clenching is done during a sleep,  Occlusal Splint (Night Guard or Day Guard) is recommmended to wear during a sleep.  Rarely we grind and clench during the day,  but for those patients that does, they need to wear the guard as a Day Guard. 

Occlusal Splints, decreases the loading of the Temporalmadibular Joint (TMJ), reduces facial pain and headaches caused by masticatory muscles, imporoves Temporalmadibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) symptoms and protects occlusal surface of teeth and restorations.

Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding

  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
  • Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position  the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Call for your TMJ Splint and Botox Therapy  (909) 945-2002

Botox Theraupeutic  for TMD (Temporalmadibularjoint Disorder)Treatment

Botox

BOTOX® is a popular treatment that is used to immobilize the facial muscles that cause wrinkles. It is also effective for relaxing muscles in the jaw that cause some of the most common symptoms of TMD, including clenching and grinding of the teeth.

Botox is best local temporary muscle relaxant for 3-4 month

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