TMJ technically stands for the temporo-mandibular joint, the jaw joint located right in front of your ears on which your jaw rotates. TMJ may also refer to TMJ disorder, a condition in which the jaw joint becomes inflamed, causing you to experience pain, clicking, and/or popping. Often, this condition causes you to experience discomfort in the muscles associated with the jaw and face as well.
Bruxism is the medical term for a condition that causes people to grind and clench their teeth – particularly while they sleep. While some people think that bruxism is not much of a concern, the truth is that if it is left untreated, it can do a great deal of damage to your teeth and affect your health in other ways, as well.
Bruxism has also been identified as a migraine trigger in some people because it causes strain in the muscles of the temples, which irritates the nerves. It’s also a common trigger for temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. This condition causes pain in the jaws, neck, and shoulders as well as other issues.
Common Symptoms Of TMJ & Teeth Grinding
- Chronic bruxism (grinding and clenching of your teeth)
- Arthritis in the joint
- A slipped disc in the joint
- Damage to the joint caused by a sharp blow
It’s also possible to develop TMJ without a clear cause. More women than men have TMJ, which has led researchers to believe that there may also be a hormonal component to the condition.
Untreated, TMJ can cause pain and permanent damage to the jaw joint. The joint may stick or lock, causing your jaw to become stuck in a closed or an open position.
Bruxism & TMJ Treatment in Bridgeton, MO
TMJ can be treated using a number of different methods including hot and cold therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery. Dr. Kevin Burgdorf, DDS can also prescribe an occlusal guard to be worn at night that reduces tension on the joint, leading to less discomfort and more flexibility.
Contact our dentist office in Bridgeton, MO at (314) 291-9000 to schedule teeth grinding treatment with Dr. Burgdorf!