Teeth Grinding & TMJ Treatment in Adelaide
If you find yourself waking up with sore teeth and jaw, it’s likely that you’re grinding your teeth while sleeping. Teeth grinding is a common condition, but if left untreated, it can lead to negative effects such as jaw pain and damage to the teeth. It can also cause problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)or jaw joint At Burnside Dental Practice, our TMJ dentists can assist you with problems affecting the TMJ, such as teeth grinding. Make an appointment at our clinic today to get relief from pain and other symptoms of teeth grinding with an effective TMJ treatment in Adelaide.
What is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, generally refers to the act of gnashing or clenching the teeth together during sleep. However, the condition can also be experienced during waking hours when the teeth are unconsciously clenched. Most people are not aware that they’re grinding their teeth until they begin experiencing symptoms such as pain and damage to the teeth. The main form of damage is through the wearing away of tooth enamel, caused by the forceful contact between teeth when they’re clenched together.
The Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
When diagnosing problems with the TMJ, our Adelaide dentist will look for a number of symptoms. If you suspect you’re grinding your teeth but you aren’t sure, take a look at the symptoms below:
- Damaged teeth that appear chipped, fractured or flattened
- Worn tooth enamel
- Sensitive and sore teeth
- Tight jaw and facial muscles
- Pain in the neck and jaw
- Disruption to sleep
These symptoms can vary in severity from mild to severe. It’s best to seek treatment while symptoms are still mild to minimise the damage done to your teeth and the temporomandibular joint.
What Causes a Person to Grind Their Teeth?
Teeth grinding can have a number of different causes. Our TMJ dentist may ask you about the following to determine if any could be contributing to your condition:
- Emotional stress.
- Certain medications can also contribute.
- Sleeping problems
- Poor tooth alignment / bite
- Issues with dental work, such as high fillings
Once the cause has been determined, a suitable treatment for TMJ in Adelaide can be recommended.
What Does Teeth Grinding Treatment Involve?
Teeth grinding treatment focuses on protecting teeth from the harmful effects of excessive tooth contact. If there’s an obvious reason for why bruxism is occurring, such as one of the causes listed above, our TMJ dentist will suggest addressing this cause in order to stop teeth grinding. This may include practicing stress management, changing behaviours and having dental work done.
If the cause isn’t obvious or cannot be treated, steps will be taken to protect the teeth from damage when they’re ground together. A custom dental splint or a nightguard can be constructed to stop the teeth from clenching together, alleviating many of the symptoms of bruxism. Often made from acrylic or another comfortable material, they easily fit over the upper or lower teeth to keep them separated.
Why is it Important to Get Teeth Grinding Treated?
Without treatment, teeth grinding causes irreparable damage to teeth from surface wear of the enamel, it can also cause small microfractures on teeth which over time can propagate to the nerve of the tooth causing infection, or even has the potential to cause vertical fractures of the tooth. Besides its effects on teeth, it can also cause pain and inflammation in the TMJ or the jaw joint. Our Adelaide dentist recommends treating teeth grinding as soon as you become aware of the symptoms in order to minimise damage. Treating problems early on can prevent bruxism from affecting quality of life and interfering with daily functions such as eating and sleeping.
Make an Appointment with Our TMJ Dentist Today
If you suspect you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep, make an appointment at Burnside Dental Practice today. Our TMJ dentist can identify the signs of teeth grinding and suggest what may be causing it, as well as providing TMJ treatment that aims to reduce the harmful effects on your teeth and temporomandibular joint. To learn more or make an appointment for a time that suits you, call us on (08) 8364 2557 or send us a message online to receive a prompt response.