Millions of people around the world suffer from chronic facial pain such as jaw pain, headaches or earaches. The source of these aches may be directly related to the temporomandibular joints / TMJ. These joints work in conjunction with the muscles, ligaments, and bones to assist you in chewing and speaking. When the temporomandibular joints are not in harmony with the other systems, pain can occur.
Causes of Jaw Pain/TMJ
Some of the main causes of TMJ include arthritis, misaligned bite, an injury resulting in jaw dislocation, and bruxism. While these causes cover the majority of the reason for TMJ, sometimes TMJ can occur without any clear reason.
Definition of Bruxism
Bruxism is a condition in which a person grinds, gnashes, or clenches their teeth. It is said to occur when a person is dealing with stress or anxiety. bruxism can occur while a person is awake but it is more prevalent during sleep cycles. While bruxism can be known to disrupt sleep, many people are not aware that they have the condition until they experience symptoms.
Effects on Teeth and Mouth
TMJ and bruxism can cause a host of problems for the teeth and mouth. With TMJ, a person can experience bite problems and muscle problems in the jaw area. If a person is suffering from bruxism, they may experience worn down teeth, damage to the enamel of the teeth or broken or loose teeth.
There are a variety of treatments available to treat TMJ and bruxism such as avoiding chewing gum, eating softer food, or special night mouth guards that will prevent the wearing down of teeth and enamel damage. In some cases, orthodontic surgery will help to alleviate the pain or damage caused by TMJ and bruxism. The sooner treatment is rendered, the less severe the effects will be in the long term.
Learn More About TMJ & Bruxism
If you feel that you might be suffering from TMJ or bruxism, contact us to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.