If you suffer from headaches and a sore jaw, you may have a misaligned jaw. This is known as TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder, and it can be very painful. Moreover, it is connected to another disorder known as Bruxism — which is persistent teeth grinding. It becomes trickier because each can be the cause or the symptom of the other. In today’s blog, your Cleveland, TX, dentist talks about both disorders and describes how we can help.
Understanding TMJ Disorder
It is when the joints that connect your lower jaw to the base of your skull become unbalanced and misaligned. We use these joints for a wide range of unavoidable activities, like biting, talking, and eating, so it is quite painful, as they are always in use. Moreover, because of their constant movement, it can be difficult to heal on its own. Its most common symptoms include headaches, earaches, migraines, and jaw popping. In more severe cases, the pain can be felt down through one’s neck, shoulders, and even lower back. When the jaw is misaligned, it can also cause persistent teeth grinding — bruxism.
What Is Bruxism?
As noted above, is persistent teeth grinding that often occurs while those suffering are asleep. It is linked with TMJ Disorder because jaw misalignment can stress one’s muscles and nerves while asleep, causing their teeth to grind and clench. To further complicate matters, if the primary issue at hand is Bruxism, it can cause TMJ Disorder because the clenching grinding can misalign the jaw. This creates a vicious cycle in which both issues exacerbate one another. Teeth grinding can be especially nefarious because those who suffer from it might not even be aware — as they are frequently asleep — until significant damage to their teeth and enamel has already been caused.
How We Can Treat Both Disorders
While both TMJ and Bruxism can cause a lot of stress and pain, there are solutions. In fact, the treatments for both are very similar. If we do diagnose you with either disorder — or both — we will craft a custom-made night guard for you to wear while you are asleep. If you suffer from TMJ, this mouthpiece will reposition your jaw into its proper alignment. For bruxism, the guard will prevent you from grinding your teeth together as you sleep. No matter which device you need, the fact that it is crafted for your unique mouth helps ensure that it is comfortable and that you will get used to sleeping with it quickly. If you think you might suffer from either issue, it is essential that you reach out to your dentist quickly; if left untreated, there is a risk that significant damage could occur, necessitating restorative or cosmetic procedures.
Contact Us To Learn More About Bruxism And TMJ
You do not have to suffer from the symptoms of these disorders anymore — we can help. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation today, please contact Cleveland Family Dentistry in Cleveland, TX, at (281) 592-1234. You can also find our practice at 205 E. Houston St. Cleveland, TX 77327.