Ottawa dentist Dr. Ami Barakat is a highly trained and experienced neuromuscular dentist with advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ related health concerns such as teeth grinding. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is one common cause of TMD. Habitual teeth grinding can begin to deteriorate a patient’s oral health and quality of life. Teeth grinding causes painful symptoms and can damage the teeth and gums.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This is the joint responsible for daily activities such as chewing, talking and yawning. When patients grind or clench their teeth, it can cause stress to the joint and the attached muscles, often creating discomfort and even severe pain. If the jaw joint becomes misaligned, it will require thorough analysis and treatment to restore health and function to the bite.
Signs & Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Many patients do not realize that they are grinding their teeth because they do it while they are sleeping. If you are experiencing headaches, jaw pain, worn teeth, or broken teeth, it may be due to teeth grinding. For some, the symptoms of teeth grinding can begin to affect their quality of life. Knowing the common signs of bruxism can help patients reach out for help from their Villanova Dental Studio dentist as soon as possible.
Signs of teeth grinding include:
- Worn teeth (look for teeth that have chips or flat spots)
- Dull teeth, because of worn tooth enamel
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain
- A chronic earache without ear infection
- A headache or facial pain
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
Treatment Options for Teeth Grinding
Dr. Barakat utilizes state of the art dental technology for the diagnosis and treatment of teeth grinding associated with TMJ disorder. Dr. Barakat may recommend a combination of treatments for the best long term results. Treatment will depend on the personal needs and goals of the individual patient. Oral health, existing dental concerns, and budget will all be addressed during a personal consultation.
- TENS therapy: Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation. The TENS device uses mild electrical stimulation to relax the jaw muscles. TENS allows the jaw to relax and shift into the natural resting position. This relieves tension on the muscles and reduces tension pain.
- Mouthguards: Mouthguards worn while sleeping can help to prevent teeth grinding by properly positioning the jaw. Mouthguards stop teeth from grinding and protect teeth from further damage.
- Orthodontics: For patients that have TMJ caused by bite misalignment or crooked teeth, orthodontics can gradually realign the bite releasing tension from the jaw.
- Invisalign®: Invisalign can be used as an alternative to traditional metal braces to straighten teen and realign the bite.
- Restorative dentistry treatments: For minor tooth misalignment or bite issues a dental crown or veneer may be able to bring balance to the bite.
- Change in lifestyle habits: Exercise, yoga, and other therapeutic activities can help patients release stress and tension to prevent jaw clenching or grinding. Dr. Barakat may make other recommendations of changes that may help alleviate TMJ pain.