If you consistently grind or clench your teeth, this is known as bruxism. This can cause cracked teeth, intense pain, and loss of teeth. After continuous teeth grinding this can eventually lead to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD).
TMJ is when that small place where your lower jaw is hinged to your skull, the temporomandibular joint of the jaw, becomes inflamed or injured over time. There are two names for this condition, TMJ and TMD.
Some of the most common reasons behind this condition include:
This is not a condition to be taken lightly as it can cause quite a bit of pain. Here are some symptoms that say you should be evaluated for TMJ.
There are quite a few different casual treatments for TMJ. These can be things like ice or heat packs placed over the joints and muscles or muscle relaxers and steroid injections. It depends on the type of pain and what seems to work for you. Antidepressant or antianxiety medications are a treatment that does work for a fair number of people.
Night guards are a solution for TMJ, just like they can be for bruxism, depending on severity and effects. A night guard works to keep your teeth separated from one another so that you can’t clench or grind them as effectively as you did before.
AT My STL Dentist we take an imprint of your teeth and design a night guard meant exclusively for you.
Obviously, night guards are meant to be used solely at night. This is because when you are asleep is when you most often engage in these harmful behaviors the night guard is meant to prevent. Over time using a night guard can release the strain on your jaw or temporomandibular joint which relieve the stress and pain related to TMD.