TMJ and Bruxism

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder & Grinding Teeth

If you suffer from jaw pain, neck stiffness, migraine headaches, tooth pain, fractures or shoulder aches, your temporomandibular joints and the surrounding muscles may be causing these symptoms. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, which occurs when jaw joints are not properly seated.

Temporomandibular joints give the jaw full range of motion, allowing it to open, close and move side to side. Stress, injury or fatigue can cause the jaw joints to become misaligned, yet the mouth can still move. Over time, muscles and associated nerves become fatigued and cause discomfort.

As many as 40 million people are known to tense and release their jaw muscles by biting, grinding or clenching. Categorized as bruxism, clenching and grinding often goes hand-in-hand with TMJ dysfunction. Bruxism can create uneven tooth wear, fractures or chipping and contribute to headaches or jaw pain.  Our dentists can identify the cause of your bruxism or TMJ pain.

After a complete evaluation, your doctor will review nonsurgical therapies such as hot and cold therapy, strengthening exercises and tips for reducing stress and help you decide on the best option. You may also need a TMJ appliance to keep your jaw in proper position.  Often, our dentists suggest nightguards, which are custom oral appliances designed to protect your teeth, relax your muscles and stabilize your jaw while you sleep.

Schedule your free TMJ evaluation.

Please call (630) 892-7041 to learn more or to schedule an appointment