Bruxism and TMJ Dysfunction
There are some dental disorders unrelated to bacteria or decay that can be destructive causing pain and discomfort. Bruxism is a subconscious yet potentially damaging condition that can be painful and expensive. TMJ dysfunction is a misalignment of the jaw joint, which can be congenital, the movement of teeth, or the result of an injury. If you are aware of the symptoms, there are steps we can recommend to prevent damage. Additionally, our staff at Palo Alto Oral Health, will look for symptoms during your oral exams. We can provide you with the tips, tools, and information to save you time in the chair as well as pain and expense.
Bruxism is an often temporary, but potentially highly destructive dental disorder. It is commonly known by the effects of grinding or the clenching of teeth while you sleep. Because bruxism is done subconsciously, patients are often unaware that they have it, but there are symptoms that both the patient and our office can look for.
Symptoms of bruxism include:
TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint, also known as your jaw joint. This joint is the hinge for your jaw, allowing it to open and close. This joint should be able to work effortlessly. TMJ dysfunction refers to the joint being out of alignment. The symptoms can vary greatly depending on the severity of the alignment issue. Misalignment can occur as the result of the congenital structure; this can often be corrected from orthodontia assistance. Misalignment can occur at any point due to the loss and then movement of teeth, or from an impact injury such as a car accident, fall, or act of violence.
A patient who experiences a misalignment may not be aware right away, but there are symptoms that you can look for, including:
How We Can Help
If you spot the symptoms of Bruxism or TMJ dysfunction, there are things we can do to help. The first goal is to provide the patient with relief. An oral splint can help. An oral splint is a dental device designed to alleviate the damage caused by bruxing and provide rest for a patient suffering from TMJ dysfunction. We can help stop additional damage and then assess if any restorations are needed from previous damage.