TMJ & Bruxism

There’s more to oral health than teeth and gums

Talking, chewing and a thousand other every day movements can only be done because of one thing, your Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).

Located just in front of your ears, it’s the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull and is one of the most used joints in your body.

A misaligned jaw can strain jaw and facial muscles and result in recurring headaches, face, and neck or shoulder pain. Known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), damage to the jaw from an accident or sporting injury, grinding teeth in sleep (Bruxism) as well as the presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ can also be contributing factors.

Grinding your teeth is called Bruxism and many people are unaware they do it, as it mostly occurs during sleep. Bruxism places a lot of pressure on the TMJ and can also cause fillings to become loose and even fracture teeth.

To determine correct jaw alignment and eliminate TMD as being the cause of any facial or neck pain the Inform Dental team can complete a comprehensive physical examination and oral health assessment. This may also involve taking detailed x-rays and a review your medical history.

There are a number of options available to treat TMD and Bruxism and alleviate discomfort.

One of the most common treatment options is a dental splint or night guard (Orthopaedic Orthotic). Made from a high grade plastic. These look similar to a sport mouthguard and fit precisely over the upper teeth or lower teeth to re-position your bite and prevent the upper and lower teeth clashing, reducing the effects of clenching or grinding your teeth. This also decompresses the jaw joints and reduces joint inflammation and reducing pain.

If you experience these symptoms, hear a clicking or popping sound when you chew or have been told you grind your teeth while sleeping, have limited mouth opening or pain when eating or moving your jaw the team at Inform Dental can assess your TMJ and offer a solution.