Some people react to stress by clenching or grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion, also known as bruxism, can harm your teeth and jaw tissues.
Dr. Patel Explains TMJ
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Signs of TMJ Disorder
Excessive grinding can wreak havoc on your teeth. Over time, the unnecessary friction may wear down your enamel, causing portions of your teeth to corrode.
When your jaw muscles are in constant motion, they become sore from overuse. Without a reprieve in the clenching, the muscles in your jaw will experience aches and pains.
Severe cases of TMJ disorder may cause your jaw to freeze up. A frozen or “locked” jaw presents itself with the temporary loss of the ability to open or close your jaw at will.
If malalignment is the root cause of your TMJ, you might have trouble chewing your food accurately. In extreme cases, the alignment issue may lead to malnutrition.
1. Initial Assessment
TMJ is very common, so we evaluate every patient for TMJ dysfunction during a regular dental exam. If we detect a problem, our goals are to alleviate symptoms, protect teeth from further damage, and correct any underlying bite misalignment issues.
Injecting the masseter muscle with BOTOX® is one of the most effective treatment options to alleviate pain caused by TMJ disorder. BOTOX® relaxes the muscles and reduces jaw tension to relieve TMJ-related discomfort.
3. Mouth Guard
A fitted bite appliance worn while you sleep will put an end to nighttime teeth grinding. This will put less stress on your jaw and protect your teeth from further damage.
For severe cases of TMJ, an operation may be required to replace the broken joint in your jaw. To find out if you require surgical treatment, reach out to us for a TMJ dysfunction assessment today.