TMJ disorder and bruxism are jaw joint disorders that can have negative impacts on your oral health. Patients can experience very uncomfortable symptoms as well. Fortunately, treating these disorders doesn’t require surgery or major dental treatments, instead we can often address them with a nightguard.
Frequently Asked Questions About TMD and Bruxism Nightguards
Question: What is TMJ disorder?
Answer: TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, forms when the jaw joints undergo excessive strain, such as the kind caused by tooth loss, misalignment, teeth grinding or clenching, or injury to the jaw. Patients may experience headaches, popping or cracking sensations in the jaw, and have difficulty fully opening and closing their mouth.
Question: How do I know if I have bruxism?
Answer: Bruxism is a disorder in which patients frequently grind their teeth or clench their teeth. Over time, teeth grinding can lead to headaches, jaw and tooth pain, and damaged teeth (including worn down tooth enamel, cracks, and chips). Stress is a major cause, as well as TMJ disorder and malocclusion.
Question: How does a nightguard help?
Answer: The nightguard will be custom-made for the patient to ensure a comfortable fit and accurate treatment. For TMJ disorder, the guard repositions the jaw to ease strain. For teeth grinding, it not only repositions the jaw, but also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further damage to them.
Question: Should I make other changes to my daily habits?
Answer: You can cut back on caffeine products, avoid hard or chewy foods as the repetitive chewing action can worsen TMD or teeth grinding, and reduce the amount of stress in your daily life. We may also recommend orthodontic treatment, muscle exercises to perform daily, or possibly even a restoration to correct bite imbalance and help address these jaw joint concerns. If you have any questions about either TMJ disorder or bruxism, or about our nightguard theory, then contact our team today.
Does Your Smile Need a Nightguard?
Dr. Lawson and our team can offer treatment options to help address TMD or bruxism. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling our sleep dentistry office in Urbandale, IA, at 515-278-4366.