Bruxism (Greek for “teeth gnashing”) is the medical term for teeth grinding or clenching. The force puts stress on the joints on both sides of the face where the jaw connects to the skull. Bruxism can yield to TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder). TMJ is characterized by chronic headaches, neck and shoulder pain, facial pain, ringing ears, popping jaws, and other painful symptoms.
Grind No More: Treatments for Teeth Grinding
Your Garland dentist, Dr. Vi Truong-Mai, has a trained eye to recognize bruxism symptoms and its associated issues. Bruxism can lead to the wearing away (attrition) of your tooth enamel and eventual exposure of the dentin and pulp. It can even lead to tooth fractures. We treat teeth grinding with an occlusal splint or customized mouth guard to protect the teeth from further abrasion. Splints/mouth guards are usually made of plastic and fit over some or all of your upper and/or lower teeth. Dental guards also lessen muscle strain, restricting the grinding pattern to avoid damage to the jaw joints that cause TMJ.
Many teeth-grinders are unaware of the problem until a spouse or parent brings it to their attention. Symptoms of sleep bruxism are usually most intense and apparent immediately after waking. The jaw or gums ache and then slowly get better throughout the day. On the other hand, daytime grinding symptoms occur mainly while awake and tend to intensify throughout the day.
Do You Need Treatment for TMJ and Bruxism?
Using customized oral appliance, Dr. Mai can help address TMJ disorder and bruxism, addressing the uncomfortable symptoms and protecting your smile. For our patients who don’t speak English, our office is fluent in both Spanish and Vietnamese. To learn more, or to schedule your next appointment, call our Garland, TX office today at (972) 530-0552.