Common Causes and Cures
TMJ is often caused by misalignment of the teeth and/or the jaw. Bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding, can be considered both a cause and a symptom of TMJ. Fortunately, the treatment for bruxism/TMJ is often as simple as fitting a patient with a custom mouth guard.
By sleeping with a night guard similar to the kind used during orthodontic treatment or athletic activity, many patients can eliminate their bruxism, helping to save their teeth a great deal of wear, and often eliminating many of the side effects caused by TMJ as well.
If you’re suffering from bruxism, in particular, you may experience the same symptoms listed above, but you could also wake feeling very tired, with severe headaches, have extremely sensitive teeth, or what is commonly referred to as “lockjaw.” Your partner may even have heard you grinding your teeth at night.
Exploring the Options
If a night guard is not effective, the dentist may recommend other forms of treatment, such as orthodontia or dental restorations, such as veneers that will stand up to tooth grinding, veneers that will replace tooth enamel lost from bruxism, or a dental implant to help preserve the teeth’s alignment after tooth loss.
Anytime you experience dental problems or symptoms, it is important to schedule a visit as soon as possible. This can help prevent further complications, and also allows the dentist to use less invasive treatments than if you wait until matters have worsened.