TMJ and Bruxism

Do you wake up with head, neck, or shoulder pain? Are your teeth sensitive or worn? If so, you may have issues with your temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) or bruxism. 

At Lake Marion Dental Care, we can help you manage your symptoms with conservative, non-invasive treatment. Dr. Rounds is your Lakeville dentist who can help diagnose, treat, and prevent TMD and bruxism symptoms and the associated oral health risks. 

What Are TMD and Bruxism?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. Dysfunction or inflammation of this joint can result in pain, discomfort, and limited jaw mobility. A disorder of the TMJ is called TMD, but people often use these acronyms interchangeably. 

Bruxism is a harmful habit of grinding and clenching your teeth. The two types of bruxism are awake bruxism and sleep bruxism.

  • Awake bruxism is often related to stress, anxiety, frustration, or concentration.
  • Sleep bruxism is a chewing or grinding habit that occurs due to arousals during sleep.

Both TMD and bruxism often relate to one another, but some patients can have one condition without the other. 

TMJ disorders affect millions of Americans, and these disorders lead to severe effects on your quality of life. At Lake Marion Dental Care, we offer non-invasive treatment to manage symptoms of TMJ disorders.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

Though TMJ disorder symptoms can vary from person to person, they may include:

  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
  • Misaligned bite
  • Popping or clicking in the jaw joints
  • Pain or soreness in the jaw muscles
  • Facial, shoulder, and neck pain
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism) 
  • Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
  • Worn, damaged, or shortened teeth

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

Though TMJ disorders don’t always have a definitive cause, some risks include:

  • Injury or trauma 
  • Certain diseases (e.g., connective tissue disorders, arthritis) 
  • Malocclusion
  • Chronic bruxism 

All of these, and more, may contribute to the dysfunction of a patient’s jaw joint. 

How We Treat TMJ Disorders 

Untreated TMD can result in facial pain, damage to the teeth, limited jaw movements, and more. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Noah Rounds determines the best TMJ or bruxism treatment based on your specific needs. Other factors that determine treatment are the severity of your condition, the type of symptoms you experience, existing medical conditions, and any side effects of current medication.

Treating TMJ and bruxism requires an accurate diagnosis. At Lake Marion Dental Care, we offer rigid, flat-plane night guards when the situation calls for it. 

Recent studies have shown that bruxism is often related to sleep apnea, so we screen for these symptoms as well. If a patient exhibits certain clinical signs of sleep apnea, we recommend they undergo a sleep study before fabricating a prosthesis. 

We offer oral appliances to reposition their jaws while sleeping for patients with TMJ disorders or a bruxism habit. Our oral devices and splints are custom-made for a comfortable fit, and they reduce the symptoms of TMD and bruxism. Dr. Rounds may also recommend anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation in the joints.

The goal with treatment is to ensure you feel comfortable and your oral health remains protected so you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.

If you suffer from jaw pain or any other TMD or bruxism symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact our dental office to schedule an evaluation. 

We serve patients from Lakeville, Farmington, Elko/New Market, Prior Lake, Apple Valley, Credit River, Savage, Burnsville, Rosemount, and surrounding areas.