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TMJ and Bruxism

Woman pressing her aching jaw

What Solutions Are Available for TMJ and Bruxism Problems?

Bruxism and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction are serious and common dental health problems, but many people do not know much about them. Bruxism involves the involuntary and excessive grinding and clenching of the teeth, which causes discomfort, pain, and wear and tear of the teeth. TMJ dysfunction, on the other hand, is a disorder that affects the jaw joints, leading to a wide range of problems such as jaw pain, severe headaches, earaches, oral function problems, among other issues. At Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center, we offer a wide range of solutions that are designed to treat TMJ and bruxism problems.

What Causes Bruxism?

Patients who suffer from bruxism can experience teeth grinding and clenching when they are asleep, or when awake but their mind is preoccupied. There is no specific cause for the condition, but it can be triggered by various factors such as anxiety and stress, sleep disorders, nail-biting habits, fatigue, excessive consumption of alcohol, teeth alignment issues, and other problems.

What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?

Just like with bruxism, TMJ dysfunction can be caused by several problems, including excessive teeth grinding and clenching, a traumatic dental injury, an oral infection that has spread to the jawbone, jaw joint misalignment, bad bites, the effects of autoimmune disorders, or the effects of bone diseases (for example, arthritis), among other factors.

Treatment Options for Bruxism

Bruxism treatment usually involves managing the condition to prevent further damage of the teeth, gums, and jawbone, and treating the symptoms to offer relief. A proper diagnosis is required before treatment can be offered. Depending on the results of the diagnosis, the treatment offered can include:
•  Use of occlusal splints – teeth night guards which prevent the grinding and clenching of the teeth
•  Sleep disorder treatments – if a sleep disorder is causing the grinding and clenching
•  Orthodontic treatment and corrective jaw surgery to fix the damage caused to the teeth and the jawbone

Aside from these solutions, the treatment approach may also be combined with physiotherapy, psychotherapy, and behavioral treatments.

Treatment Options for TMJ Dysfunction

TMJ treatments involve treating the symptoms to offer relief or fixing the damage that has been caused by the dysfunction. Before treatment can be offered, a thorough examination using dental x-rays, CT scans, and other dental imaging techniques is conducted. This helps to properly diagnose the condition – to identify the cause and the damage that has been caused. Following the diagnosis, a customized treatment plan is then created, which can include the following dental solutions:
•  A bite guard to prevent teeth grinding
•  Bite realignment using orthodontic treatments
•  Corrective jaw surgery

Behavioral treatments – change in lifestyle – can also be recommended in situations where the TMJ problems are created by behavioral issues.

Are you experiencing TMJ or bruxism problems? Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center can provide you with treatments to manage the conditions, thus eliminating the headaches, jaw pain, earaches, and other symptoms of the conditions. We can also provide you with other dental solutions to help fix the damage caused by these two conditions. Call us today at (470) 222-8983 to schedule an appointment.

Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center

Dr. Melody J. Schiffer &
Dr. M. Forest Butler

(470) 222-8983

320 Killian Hill Road NW
Lilburn, GA 30047-3809

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