TMJ or TMPD as is more correctly termed is a condition that affects the jaw joints which are called the temporomandibular joints. These joints move the lower jaw and can become inflamed and painful when put under too much pressure. Bruxism is a condition where the sufferer grinds or clenches their teeth, usually during sleep, and this can place the teeth, gums, jaws and jaw joints under a lot of pressure and which may cause TMJ or other unpleasant symptoms which can include:
- Persistent headaches
- Discomfort or difficulty chewing
- Facial pain
- Your jaw may click or make a popping sound when you open or close your mouth
In addition, you might have tooth pain or notice your teeth look shorter than before or that they are chipped due to clenching and grinding.
Diagnosing and Treating TMJ & Bruxism
These conditions can be diagnosed and treated at our dental practice. Our dentist will gently examine your teeth and jaws before recommending treatment. This is usually involves prescribing a custom-designed mouth splint that is worn while sleeping. It works through putting the jaw into a more relaxed position and preventing the teeth from contacting so your jaw joints have a chance to heal. Treatment also prevents further damage to your teeth and gums.
In patients with a proven bruxing problem or a long history of splint wear, we will often recommend a hard acrylic custom made splint.