Bruxism and TMJ Treatment in Humble, TX
Jaw pain, teeth sensitivity, headaches, and migraines may all point to a common but often ignored condition – tooth grinding and clenching, also called bruxism. Many people do not realize that they grind their teeth since it commonly occurs at night during sleep and is an unconscious habit.
Dr. Robert Appel, your dentist in Humble, TX, has extensive experience working with bruxism and TMJ disorders.
He evaluates each patient’s bite and jaw function to identify signs of bruxism or jaw problems that often accompany a bruxing habit. Here are some of the tell-tale signs he will look for during your comprehensive exam:
- Bite marks along the inside of the cheeks
- Worn, chipped, or broken teeth
- Small or shortened teeth
- Bony growths beneath the tongue (tori)
- Gum recession and teeth sensitivity
Because the gums, teeth, muscles, tendons, and jaw joints work together as part of the larger chewing system, bruxism can manifest with widely varying symptoms from person to person and may worsen over time. When left untreated, a simple teeth-grinding habit can damage the jaw joints called temporomandibular joint dysfunction, often referred to as TMJ.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ refers to the jaw joints, but it is often used to describe jaw disorders. People may develop TMJ for a variety of reasons, including:
- Uneven bite
- Teeth that do not come together properly
- Hormonal changes
- Car accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Developmental issues
Sometimes, the cause of TMJ is not known. Dr. Appel will perform a full evaluation of your jaw joints, muscles, and bite to determine the best course of action for treatment.
Symptoms of TMJ
If you experience any of the following signs of TMJ or TMJ pain, we welcome you to get in touch right away. Treatment for TMJ symptoms can relieve chronic pain, protect your teeth and gums, and improve your quality of life.
- Headaches or migraines
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- Sensitive teeth
- Orofacial pain
- Clicking, popping, or locking of joints
- Head, neck, and shoulder pain
- Mood disorders associated with chronic pain
Treatment for Bruxism and TMJ in Humble, TX
Treatment for bruxism and TMJ can prevent additional teeth damage and jaw joint degeneration. Dr. Appel will customize treatment, which often begins with oral appliance therapy.
A TMJ or bruxism splint is more than a simple nightguard. The surface of the splint is designed to gently guide your lower jaw into correct alignment. This relieves the tension in your muscles and tendons and reduces inflammation, allowing the jaw and surrounding muscles to relax.
A bruxism or TMJ splint also provides a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing fractures and damage during sleep.
In cases of advanced TMJ, additional treatment options may be necessary, such as:
- Rebuilding worn teeth with restorative dentistry
- Correcting the bite with orthodontics
- Arthrocentesis (surgery to restore joint function)
TMJ and Bruxism Treatment in Humble, TX
Don’t let jaw pain or teeth grinding impact your health and comfort. Dr. Appel can help. Contact Humble Dentistry in Humble, TX to learn more. Our dental office is conveniently located near Atascocita, Porter, Ramblewood, Moonshine Hill, Bordersville, and Kenswick.