Stop Teeth-Grinding and Jaw Pain
Bruxism is the chronic, unconscious grinding of your teeth that can result from a number of different factors. For instance, if your teeth and jawbone are misaligned, then the imbalance in your bite might make your jaw joints and muscles uncomfortable, causing them to shift uncomfortably and force your teeth together. Other factors, such as increased levels of stress and damage to your jaw joint, can also contribute to chronic bruxism. If you catch yourself grinding your teeth more often than you’re comfortable with, or if your dentist notices signs of wear and damage during your checkup and cleaning appointment, then you may be suffering from bruxism. If so, then you might require a custom-designed appliance to protect your teeth.
What Does Bruxism Mean?
Clenching and grinding your teeth isn’t automatically a sign of bruxism. On the contrary, bruxism describes the constant and often unconscious grinding of your teeth. For many patients, it occurs only or mostly at night, making it more difficult to detect. Therefore, you may not realize that you have bruxism until the condition leads to extensive tooth damage, or worse. If left untreated, the pressure of your bite can end up destroying one or more of your teeth. Fortunately, most patients can benefit from a custom-designed bruxism appliance that fits comfortably over their teeth, protecting them from the friction of grinding against each other.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, is often closely related to bruxism. It describes damage, dislocation, inflammation, or other discrepancies with your jaw joints, and the constant friction of bruxism can cause or exacerbate the discrepancy. However, many people can develop TMJ disorder even in the abscence of bruxism due to bite imbalances such as crooked teeth, or an injury to the mouth or jaw. To alleviate the associated discomfort and improve diminished bite function, patients often benefit from a custom-made appliance designed to offer better support for the lower jaw, allowing TMJs to rest and recover properly.
Address Bruxism or TMJ Disorder with a Custom Appliance
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call the Viva Dental office nearest you at 214-337-7800 in Dallas, or at 972-437-6000 in Richardson.