End Jaw Pain and Bruxism with Teeth Grinding Treatment in Tulsa, OK
Pain is a sign that something is wrong. It’s not something you’re supposed to deal with every day. Yet if you are suffering from temporomandibular disorder (TMD), that’s likely what you’re doing. TMD is a potentially serious condition that happens when your jaw joints (called TMJ) become sore and stressed. You need TMJ treatment from our Tulsa, OK dentist office to stop the pain once and for all.
Symptoms Of TMJ Problems
Of course, the main symptom of a TMJ disorder is pain in your jaw. You could also experience popping and clicking sounds when you move your jaw. Because your muscles are all interconnected, however, TMJ problems can have wide-reaching effects. The pain can spread throughout your upper body, causing discomfort in your neck, shoulders, upper back, ears, and head. Tinnitus or ringing in the ears can also happen with TMD. In extreme cases, you may have trouble opening and closing your mouth.
The Bruxism Connection to TMJ
Bruxism is related to TMD. In this condition, you grind your teeth unconsciously. This happens mostly at night but can happen any time. All of that grinding starts to wear down your enamel, weakening your teeth. It also causes jaw pain. Your jaw is supposed to rest at night. When you have bruxism, it puts extra stress on your TMJ.
There’s some debate over whether TMJ pain causes bruxism or whether it’s the other way around. Since both get worse thanks to stress, it’s possible that stress is the cause. Either way, your teeth are getting damaged and your TMD is getting worse.
Treat TMJ PainRead Transcript
There are actually six forms of bruxism, which is the technical term for people that grind their teeth. Very frequently, the person who's grinding their teeth, even severely, has no awareness of it and it's not unusual for me to look in somebody's mouth and see the teeth worn down 30-50% and I'll say, “Wow, you really grind your teeth!” And they'll say, “No, I don't grind my teeth.” It's like the person that snores doesn't know they snore.
To prevent further loss of tooth structure, we can always make a bioplastic that patient wears at nighttime. That's called a night guard and it is very effective because even if a person has had a stressful day or week, which correlates with how much a person grinds at night, the worst case they might wear away a little bit of plastic and it's much easier to replace plastic than it is tooth structure. So it acts to protect all of the teeth and most people are more comfortable wearing one of those because it allows the jaw muscles to relax. It's like waking up each morning when the blackboard has been cleaned as opposed to if you've been grinding all night, you tend to wake up—patients tend to wake up with stressed, tired muscles, and frequent headaches that are correlated with grinding their teeth. A lot of people that are treated for headaches medically are grinding their teeth, which is causing the spasm in the neck muscles and head muscles. If they're protected from the bruxism or grinding, many times that will diminish or eliminate the headaches.
At our Tulsa, OK dental office, you can get help for both TMJ pain and for bruxism. Dr. Cobble can provide a custom oral appliance, a device you wear over your teeth at night. It’s very similar to a nightguard. When you wear it while sleeping, it protects your teeth against all of that grinding from bruxism. It also shifts your jaw slightly. This takes some pressure off your TMJ, giving it more time to rest and heal. Over time, this could also help shift your jaw into a better position.
Additionally, we can recommend some simple at-home TMJ treatment or techniques and changes in habits that can reduce TMJ-related symptoms.
TMJ Problem Can Cause Migraines
The pain that comes with TMD and bruxism can spread throughout your upper body. It can also lead to headaches and migraines. That’s because of the stress put on your jaw joints by all of that tension and teeth grinding. Getting a dental appliance a common bruxism and TMJ treatment can help alleviate your headaches and migraines.