TMJ & Bruxism Problems
If you have a problem with TMJ or bruxism (teeth grinding), we can help you with these specialized dental problems. Our office, Fay Periodontal Associates, covers many dental concerns, including problems with the bite or grinding. To learn more about what you can do, read about these two conditions and review the suggested therapies.
What Is the Difference between TMJ and Bruxism?
Some people confuse TMJ and bruxism and think the two are one and the same dental condition. However, the dental conditions are different in nature. TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder is a dental condition where the muscles of the joints of the mandible (lower jaw) do not function properly. As a result, the patient often experiences dental discomfort and pain.
On the other hand, bruxism is a condition that may be caused by TMJ. It involves grinding of the teeth. The grinding normally occurs when you are sleeping at night. Some people who have bruxism grind their teeth in the daytime when they feel stressed. While you may not realize you grind your teeth, bruxism provides some telltale signs - signs that can be diagnosed during the dental visit.
For example, people with bruxism may show signs of abnormal tooth wear or may even have teeth that are chipped. Their teeth may also be more sensitive because of enamel wear or erosion. Patients who grind their teeth may also experience jaw tension and pain, as well as ear pain. Bruxism is often related to misalignment or anxiety. People with TMJ often have the same symptoms as bruxism sufferers. Therefore, it is easy to see why the two conditions may get confused.
What are TMJ Symptoms?
As noted, the symptoms associated with TMJ are similar to those related to bruxism. TMJ patients often experience pain in the ears or jaw or in the face. They may also experience tension in the shoulders and the neck. TMJ patients may suffer from recurring headaches as well. Teeth grinding may be one of the conditions that results from the TMJ. In addition, teeth grinding may lead to jaw pain or TMJ.
TMJ can be linked to a number of symptoms. However, pain in the jaw joint or muscles used for chewing signifies the most prevailing symptoms. Other symptoms that are related to TMJ includes jaw muscle stiffness or a locking of the jaw. The patient may also experience a painful clicking or grating of the jaw whenever he or she opens and shuts their mouth. TMJ frequently affects how the lower and upper teeth fit.
Finding the Best Treatment Approach
Fortunately, we understand the differences between TMJ and bruxism and how best to treat the problems. Whether you need surgery or another treatment approach, we can assess your TMJ or bruxism disorder objectively and effectively.
If you grind your teeth or you have problems with pain when opening or closing your mouth, you need to contact our office, Fay Periodontal Associates to receive a full evaluation. You should not let either of these disorders go unchecked, as they can lead to severe dental problems in the future. Give us a call today at (816) 561-8466 to set an appointment and schedule a dental exam.