We all clench and grind our teeth occasionally when we are stressed or concentrating intently. For some people though, teeth grinding (bruxism) during sleep is a chronic habit that leads to uncomfortable symptoms like head, neck, and jaw pain.
Grinding your teeth is not just painful, and you may not even realize you are doing it. But if the team at Westport Plaza Dental Associates does not address the underlying problem, the excessive force placed on your teeth leads to dental wear, broken teeth, and broken restorations, and TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction).
Fortunately, we have had a lot of success treating the symptoms of chronic teeth grinding at our Kansas City, MO dental office and relieving the uncomfortable symptoms with custom night guards.
TMJ, TMD, and Facial Pain
Your TMJ or temporomandibular joint is a complex joint that controls the up and down and side to side movement of your lower. When there’s a problem with the TMJ that prevents it from working correctly, we call it temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
TMD pain comes from the jaw joint or the muscles that control movement when you chew and speak. These muscles also support your head and neck and can become tired, tense, sore, or painful like any other overused muscles in the body. This often leads to pain in your head, neck, and jaw.
Many painful symptoms are associated with a TMJ disorder including:
- Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
- Facial pain and headaches, including migraines
- Clicking or popping sound in the jaw
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Pain when yawning or chewing
The goals of treating TMJ disorders are to minimize pain and improve jaw function. We have found that, for many of our patients, conservative treatments and non-invasive solutions are the best way to address the impact that TMD has on your quality of life.
Nightguard therapy involves wearing a customized device that looks like a mouth guard while you sleep. The bite splint is designed to keep your teeth from coming into contact with each other and relieving the pressure on your TMJ.
Call Today to Get the Relief You Need
There’s no reason to let the painful symptoms of TMJ disorder control your life. Our team has helped many patients work through TMJ problems, and we will work with you until we find the solution that eliminates your pain so you can take back your life.
If you grind your teeth or have pain in your jaw that you think might be related to TMD, please call Westport Plaza Dental Associates today. A friendly member of our team will be happy to arrange a consultation with one of our Kansas City, MO dentists.