TMJ Disorder Treatment+Bruxism
It is very common for patients to suffer from aches and tension in the jaws that attribute to muscle soreness, headaches, and neck aches. Typically this is due to bruxism (teeth grinding) and/or clenching your teeth that occurs during sleep or throughout the day, without one being aware of the habit. This may occur daily and even be elevated by stress. Consequently, this habit damages teeth by grinding down the biting surfaces, causing possible chips and fractures on teeth, and most commonly, causing abfractions (indentations on the sides of the teeth right above the gums). This not only causes increased sensitivity of teeth, but also increases the risks for cavities forming in the crevices and potentially needing a root canal treatment if left unattended.
Fortunately, there are several solutions from preventing the damage from getting worse. First, we can seal the indentation by placing a tooth colored filling that not only looks great, but also helps to decrease sensitivity and prevent plaque from accumulating in the crevice. Though this solves immediate problems, it will not prevent problems from reoccurring or relieve any aching jaw tension. For that, we need to fabricate a customized occlusal guard (pictured below) that you wear while sleeping to protect your teeth and alleviate jaw tension or pain by keeping your jaws from locking down, which may be a possible solution. If problems persist, there are other options available, that will be discussed with you if applicable.