tmj disorderIf you suffer from unexplained and persistent headaches, it could be a sign of TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder, also known as TMD. While this may be the cause of your pain, it can be difficult to identify without the help of a professional. Because of this, TMD is particularly frustrating, as headaches without a knowable cause can be distressing. Moreover, to complicate matters further, TMJ Disorder is often intertwined with bruxism, which is another name for consistent, unconscious teeth grinding. Bruxism can cause TMD and TMD can cause bruxism and each can cause sleep problems. Regardless of which comes first, it is important to treat both issues as soon as possible. When either is left untreated, you could require restorative procedures down the road. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist discusses both disorders and the solutions we can provide to lessen your discomfort. 

Understanding Bruxism

Bruxism is teeth grinding that happens while you are unaware that you are even doing it. If it occurs happens during the daytime, the teeth grinding is often linked to stress, anxiety, and other similar emotions. In this case, professional therapy or other stress-relieving techniques can help. If your grinding and clenching mostly occur while you are asleep, it could very likely be caused by TMD, which is a misalignment of the jaw. Because those suffering from bruxism are frequently not aware that they are grinding and clenching their teeth, they don’t usually realize something is wrong until their teeth have already suffered notable damage. In some cases, the grinding and clenching are so severe that they can be audible to those around you. If this disorder is left untreated, restorative treatments could be necessary to fix the wear and tear to your teeth.

The TMJ Connection

TMJ Disorder is one of the causes of persistent teeth grinding. To complicate matters further, bruxism can also be a  cause of TMJ, which is when the joints that connect your lower jaw to the base of your skull become misaligned and unbalanced. This is quite painful because these joints are filled with nerves and are almost always in use — they are part of chewing and talking — so they never really have the time to heal on their own. The symptoms can be severe and include headaches, earaches, migraines, and jaw popping. In some cases, you can feel pain in your neck, shoulders, and lower back. Needless to say, it is important to treat this disorder quickly to minimize pain and damage.

How We Can Treat Both Disorders

Luckily, both of these disorders have similar treatment solutions. For each, we can craft you a custom-designed mouthguard to wear while you are asleep. For bruxism, the night guard will prevent your teeth from grinding together. For TMD, the appliance will move your jaw into proper alignment, alleviating the stress on your jaw joints. Because these appliances are made specifically for your unique mouth, they are comfortable and feel natural as you wear them.

Contact Us For More Information

If you think you suffer from either of these disorders, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500