TMJ and Bruxism

When you think of a dentist, you probably imagine dental check-ups and healthy smiles—and you would be right to make these associations.

However, dentists are also maxillofacial experts, which means many of them can diagnose and treat specific conditions of the jaw and help reverse oral health habits like teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism), which can cost you your teeth and more.

At Beautiful Smile Dental, we believe that a smile is the best thing you can wear, but we also believe in healthy, comfortable smiles that do not cause pain. For these reasons, your dentists in Walkerville and Richmond, SA provide diagnoses and treatments designed to help you enjoy a healthy smile and function.

What Is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) typically refers to dysfunction or condition of the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This hinge-like joint contributes to eating, speaking and smiling.

When you have TMJ, you may notice a clicking sound in your jaw when you open and close your mouth. Other symptoms may include:

  • Earache
  • Migraine
  • Face pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw locking
  • Neck pain

Some studies have linked TMJ to sleep apnoea, which is a sleeping condition that means you stop breathing multiple times during the night. If left untreated, sleep apnoea can lead to serious health complications.

If you suffer from TMJ, Dr Jim Moutos or one of his associates, Drs Biren Mehta or Monica Malone, can provide therapies, exercises and even an oral health appliance (nightguard) designed to help treat this condition.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism means you grind and clench your teeth. Because this typically happens during sleep, some patients are not aware that they have this condition. Symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Earache
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Jaw pain
  • Tooth wear
  • Cavities
  • Face pain
  • Migraines

Your Dentist in Walkerville or Richmond Is Here for You

TMJ and bruxism are treatable conditions, and it often takes nothing more than a custom appliance to bring relief.

Oral appliances (nightguards) for bruxism treatment are custom-designed to fit your teeth. During sleep, the appliance gently prevents your upper and lower teeth from touching, which eliminates grinding.

Your dentist may use a similar approach when treating TMJ. In some cases, orthodontics like Invisalign can help treat TMJ as well.

It all starts with a conversation, exam and x-rays in our dental clinic. Your dentist in Richmond or Walkerville discusses your treatment options with you and helps you make the best decision for your oral health.

Our dentists use intraoral cameras as well. These small cameras are about the size of an ink pen, but they take close-up pictures from inside your mouth. Your dentist can share these pictures with you on a chair-side monitor, which allows you to see any enamel or tooth wear typical in bruxism. It also allows you to make an informed decision regarding your treatment.

For TMJ and Bruxism Treatment, We Welcome Your Call

If you have one or more symptoms of TMJ or bruxism, or if you have any questions about our therapies.