TMJ & Bruxism Treatment in Bridgeton, MO

Woman with jaw pain from teeth grinding near Bridgeton, MOWe want to help save your teeth and ease your pain by providing quality night guards.

Do you wake up in the morning with jaw pain, neck aches, and even migraines? These are common symptoms of a condition called bruxism, which causes you to clench and grind your teeth, especially while sleeping. The damage done to your teeth (and your quality of life!) caused by grinding and clenching can be severe and lead to numerous complications including worn down and fractured teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and chronic migraines.

Dr. Burgdorf, our top dentist in Bridgeton, MO, has extensive experience in treating bruxism and other conditions related to nighttime grinding and clenching with occlusal guards, often known as night guards. Unlike the bulky guards that are sold in drug stores, our night guards in Bridgeton, MO are small, fit comfortably, and are finely calibrated to fit each patient’s particular bite.

If you have noticed headaches, jaw pain, or tooth breakage—or if you have already been diagnosed with bruxism or TMJ—contact our Bridgeton dental office today at (314) 291-9000 to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Burgdorf. We also invite you to get in touch with us if you have questions about our night guards or treatments.

Meanwhile, read through the questions we hear most often from patients about TMJ and bruxism, and the treatments we offer for these conditions in our dental office.  

The Dangers of Bruxism 

Bruxism is a condition that causes people to grind and clench their teeth, often when sleeping. If this condition is not treated, it can cause serious and costly complications.

Without treatment, bruxism can take a serious toll on your dental and overall health and well-being. While your teeth are strong and durable, they simply can’t handle the constant pressure created by a clenched jaw. As they grind against each other, they wear down. This action can create a range of problems, including:

  • Shortened teeth
  • Damage to the chewing surfaces
  • Cracks in the enamel, which can lead to cavities or root infections
  • Fractures to your teeth, which often require restorations
  • Higher risk of decay
  • Loose teeth
  • Lost teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Toothache

And those are just the problems you experience in your mouth! Teeth grinding and the muscle tension that comes along with it also causes pain in the neck, jaw, and head. Over time, the pressure of grinding and clenching your teeth often leads to problems with the temporomandibular joint. Inflammation in the joint, known as TMJ or TMD, leads to neck and shoulder pain, ear pain, and locking of the joint.

Place your fingers at your temples. Now close your mouth and hold your back teeth together. Feel the movement as the muscles in your temples clench? When your muscles are held in this locked position over a long period of time, the result can be a chronic migraine. Many migraine sufferers who have tried everything to relieve their condition don’t even realize that the problem is actually with their teeth.

We do not want you to face the possibility of tooth loss, and we don’t want you to compromise your well-being because of pain.

Causes of Teeth Grinding & Bruxism

Some studies find that teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety. Other risk factors may include:

  • Abnormal bite
  • Missing or crooked teeth
  • Sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea and night terrors
  • Bruxism may be an uncommon side effect of certain medications like antidepressants.
  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Substance or recreational drug use
  • Family history of bruxism
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Dementia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • Epilepsy
  • ADHD

What is TMJ?

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When these joints dysfunction, the disorder is commonly referred to as TMJ or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). TMJ can mean inflammation of the joint or other specific dysfunctions.

The symptoms of TMJ may include pain in the face, neck, jaw, or head, a clicking or popping sound in the jaw when yawning, chewing, or speaking, and general discomfort when eating.

Left untreated, TMJ can cause severe pain and permanent joint damage including a locked jaw.

What Causes TMJ?

TMJ can be caused by several different issues, which include idiopathic causes where the reason for TMJ development is never determined, but common culprits include:

  • Bruxism
  • Arthritis—especially in the jaw
  • A slipped joint
  • Trauma or impact to the face, upper neck, or head

Treatment for Bruxism and TMJ in Bridgeton, MO

Dr. Burgdorf, your dentist in Bridgeton, MO, has had a lot of success treating bruxism and TMJ, and he will customize a treatment plan that works for you. Generally, a custom night guard is the best treatment course and it may be used with other recommendations and treatments provided by our dentist.

The night guards that we use are small, discreet, and fit comfortably inside your mouth while you sleep. We offer a range of devices, too, and we will work with you to carefully select the night guard that meets your needs, adjusting the fit so that it’s perfect for you.

While each type of night guard has a slightly different fit, they are all designed to keep your back teeth separated so that they can’t touch when you bite down, protecting your teeth from the pressures of grinding and clenching. Additionally, this helps to keep the muscles that power your jaws lax, treating the problem of aches, pains, and migraines.

Our patients have been very happy with their TMJ and Bruxism treatment in Bridgeton, MO.

Insurance Coverage for TMJ & Bruxism Treatment

Each insurance plan is different, and some will cover all or some of the cost when it comes to the therapies you need.

Dr. Burgdorf wants you to get the treatments you need, which is why we accept most PPO plans and are in Woman waking up relaxed from her occlusal guard in Bridgeton, MOnetwork with Delta Dental and Cigna. We encourage you to contact our office to discuss your insurance plan and your benefits. Our dentist office also offers a Dental Savings Plan for patients near St Charles, MO who don't have insurance. 

We will always work hard to see that you get the benefits you are supposed to receive, and our staff has a keen understanding of deductibles and yearly caps. Our team does not want you to feel stressed, and we are always available to answer any questions that you may have.

Payment Plans for Your Dental Services

We work with CareCredit, a health credit card that allows patients to get the care they need without a large up-front cost. CareCredit allows easy payment plans and interest-free repayment schedules to patients who qualify.

A member of our team can help you apply or direct you to the proper website. The application process is easy, and it usually takes only minutes to learn whether you’re approved for financing.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions about CareCredit.

Contact Our Bridgeton, MO Dental Office Today!

If you have signs of bruxism or TMJ, or if you have already been diagnosed, contact our team at (314) 291-9000 to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Burgdorf about a custom night guard in Bridgeton, MO. He will assess your situation and help relieve your pain and save your teeth.

If you have any questions about bruxism or TMJ, never hesitate to contact a member of our dental team. We are close to the surrounding areas such as Hazelwood, Champ, Earth City and Maryland Heights.