TMJ & Bruxism Problems
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. That is the fancy name for your jaw joint. TMJ can also stand for temporomandibular joint disorder. Simply put, that is a pain in your jaw. One of the most common causes of jaw pain is bruxism or tooth grinding. There are two different types of bruxism, daytime, and nighttime. How do you know that you have nighttime bruxism if you are asleep? The answer to that is that you come to see us here at Taglia Advanced Dentistry. We know what to look for, and if you are grinding your teeth, we will help you with treatment.
What You Need to Know About TMJ and Bruxism
Bruxism and jaw problems can go hand in hand. Here is what you will want to watch for, and what we might do to treat it. The most obvious sign of temporomandibular joint disorder is jaw pain, especially pain in the morning. You could also often wake up with a headache. Your jaw does not have to hurt to have a TMJ disorder. Another sign can be if your jaw cracks all the time. If it happens occasionally, it is nothing to worry about, but if it happens all the time, we need to know about it.
If your jaw is sore, if you feel throbbing in your jaw, or if you have swelling in your face, it could be a TMJ disorder. Anytime you have something unusual with your jaw or your teeth; you need to make an appointment. Once you come in to see us, we will check your jaw and your teeth as well. One of the main signs of bruxism is that the tops of your teeth could be worn down. The longer that you have been grinding your teeth, the more they could be ground down.
If you discover that you have been grinding your teeth at night, the first thing that we might try is a mouthguard. This will be custom made for you and your mouth. With the mouthguard, your teeth will be held in place, which will keep you from grinding them. That should help with jaw problems as well. If the mouthguard is not successful, we might recommend trying a CPAP machine. This will also help with your breathing while you sleep.
One thing that we might recommend for teeth grinding and also your temporomandibular joint disorder is to find a way to lower your stress level. Stress can be a major contributor to bruxism, both daytime, and nighttime. Go for a walk, enjoy a hot bath, or take a few deep breaths when you feel your stress level rising.
If you are experiencing pain or anything unusual in your jaw, here at Taglia Advanced Dentistry we want to help. Call us at (312) 757-6434 so that we can set up an appointment. There are ways that we can treat bruxism, and there are ways that we can help you with your jaw pain. It is important that you come in right away.