TMJ and Bruxism Erie, PA

If you wake up in the morning with unexplained headaches or neck, or shoulder pain or your teeth are becoming worn and sensitive, you might be dealing with TMJ or bruxism.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching) can be painful, negatively impacting quality of life.

Some people have TMJ disorders that are so severe, they cannot open their mouths all the way. Eating and chewing can be difficult, as can taking care of one’s oral health.

Call Lake Erie Dental if you think you might be suffering from a TMJ disorder or you suspect you grind your teeth. Dr. Kevin Sambuchino can talk to you about ways to relieve your symptoms for good.

What Is the Temporomandibular Joint?

The TMJ is like a hinge that connects your upper and lower jaw, enabling it to move in various directions. A normal TMJ is flexible, enabling people to speak, chew, and yawn without discomfort. When the join becomes misaligned or inflamed, this can restrict movement or make movement painful.

How Are TMJ Disorders Diagnosed?

The first thing Dr. Sambuchino will do is ask about your symptoms, any medications or supplements you might be taking, and whether you are under a lot of stress. He will examine the TMJ and listen to it as it opens and closes. Often there is a clicking sound that accompanies TMJ disorders. He may also order a set of x-rays to get a better view of the joint.

If you have a TMJ disorder, treatment can begin immediately and symptoms should ease up soon after.

What Is Bruxism?

Many people grind and clench their teeth while sleeping. They are usually unaware they are doing it until they start to wake up with sore jaw muscles and a headache.

Left unchecked, teeth grinding can wear down the teeth and cause them to become loose. Eventually, bruxism has the potential of destroying the jawbone and gum. It can also lead to TMJ issues.

If you are not sure if you suffer from bruxism, your dentist can make an accurate diagnosis by looking at the state of your teeth.

How Is Bruxism Treated?

Dr. Sambuchino can recommend appropriate treatment for your bruxism based on its cause. Some of the solutions to bruxism include:

  • Wearing an appliance similar to a mouthguard while sleeping. This will prevent your upper and lower teeth from grinding together.
  • Learning ways you can relax on a day-to-day basis. Bruxism is often the result of stress, and eliminating the source of stress can often stop the habit. Counseling might also be recommended.
  • Reducing high spots in your mouth that might be preventing your teeth from coming together properly. An uneven bite can cause there to be an overt amount of pressure on some of your teeth.  

Get Treatment for TMJ Disorders and Bruxism

You don’t have to live with pain every day. Call Lake Erie Dental to make an appointment for an examination today to find out if you are suffering from a TMJ disorder or bruxism!