TMJ and Bruxism Treatment in Booragoon, WA
Jaw pain and headaches are often brushed off or overlooked, especially if symptoms occur sporadically. Some symptoms indicate the presence of bruxism or a jaw disorder and require attention from an experienced practitioner with knowledge of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ).
TMJ dysfunction, or TMD, refers to jaw joints that do not function properly, which leads to a host of symptoms, including:
- Sensitive teeth
- Gum recession
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Orofacial pain
- Clicking, popping or locking jaws
- Muscle inflammation
Disorders of the TMJ can occur after an accident or trauma, because teeth do not come together properly, or due to a clenching and grinding habit, called bruxism.
The Nightly Grind
Bruxism most often occurs at night, though daytime clenching and grinding affect some people during times of mental concentration or because of certain medications. Other lifestyle choices also increase the likelihood that you will develop a teeth-grinding habit, such as:
- Alcohol use
- Unmanaged stress
Making a few healthy adjustments can reduce bruxism, but seeking treatment proactively to determine jaw health can also be beneficial and may help you avoid surgery.
Jaw Disorders and Pain
Jaw muscles have the capability to exert extreme force, especially subconsciously during sleep. Constant jaw trauma caused by clenching and grinding creates inflammation, which may affect the joints, resulting in a situation where the condyle cannot seat comfortably within the joint. This is the familiar popping or clicking sound that concerns people with TMD. When the condyle sticks, it may result in a locking jaw.
When left untreated, symptoms may worsen and cause difficulty chewing or painful yawning and increased headaches.
The cause of jaw dysfunction will determine the appropriate line of treatment and can include a combination of treatment modalities.
Occlusal splint – This is a custom-designed, therapeutic nightguard designed to gently guide the jaw into its natural orthopaedic position. This reduces muscle inflammation, allowing the joints to return to normal function.
Nightguard – To prevent bruxism and protect teeth, a custom nightguard places a barrier between upper and lower teeth, reducing wear and fractures.
Equilibration – Bite balancing by adjusting dentistry and making minute adjustments to teeth encourages a healthy bite and jaw function.
Restorative dentistry – Worn and damaged teeth change the function of your bite and alter the jaw system. Rebuilding worn teeth using restorative dentistry and teeth-replacement treatments will open the bite and restore function.
Don’t Live with Jaw Pain and Headaches
Dr James Wong has training and experience in treating jaw disorders and teeth grinding as part of the comprehensive dental care we provide here at Garden City Implant & Dental. Ring our dental surgery, located in Booragoon, to arrange a consultation with Dr Wong.