Bruxism and TMJ
Prolonged teeth grinding can also damage the function and health of the jaw joint and facial muscles. A common underlying cause of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD & TMJ), teeth grinding puts added tension on the facial muscles and can permanently damage the delicate jaw joint.
TMD is a chronic pain disorder that is caused by the misalignment or malfunction of the temporomandibular joint. The TMJ is the joint that holds the jaw to the base of the skull. This essential and delicate joint can easily be damaged in patients with bruxism.
Preventing Teeth Grinding, Restoring Comfort
Preventing teeth grinding from occurring can prevent long-term damage to the jaw and provides relief from painful daily symptoms. Dr. Pop offers custom oral sleep appliances for the treatment of bruxism.
Oral sleep appliances are custom fabricated to fit comfortably and securely in the mouth and worn while the patient sleeps. The device prevents the upper and lower jaw from grinding together and allows the jaw muscles to fully relax and rebuild during sleep.
For some patients, the oral sleep appliance can reverse the internal damage caused by years of grinding. Other patients may require additional restorative treatments to fully correct damage caused by bruxism. Dental crowns, veneers or bonding may be recommended to repair chipped, cracked or overly worn down teeth.
Dr. Pop may also make personalized recommendations on how to release tension and stress. It is commonly believed that teeth grinding is caused by daily stressors and is exasperated during times of high duress. Meditation, exercise, yoga or other healthy outlets for releasing tension can help patients with bruxism find a long-term solution to their facial pain.
If you notice yourself clenching your jaw or have symptoms of teeth grinding, be sure to notify Dr. Pop during your next dental exam. As with all dental concerns, early intervention can help you prevent further damage to your teeth or gums.