Treating Bruxism and TMJ Disorder in El Paso, TX

You can only maintain a healthy smile by effectively preventing things like periodontal disease and cavities. However, those aren’t the only things that could threaten your smile. If you suffer from bruxism (constant teeth-grinding) or TMJ disorder (a chronic jaw pain), then your smile may also be at risk of extreme tooth damage and/or diminished bite function. Part of preventive dental treatment includes diagnosing such issues and designing appropriate treatment, such as a custom-made oral appliance (or guard), to correct them.

About Your Teeth-Grinding

Bruxism describes the consistent grinding of your teeth, which can wear them down and make them more susceptible to damage. If you suffer from bruxism, then you may not always realize that you’re grinding your teeth, especially if it occurs while you sleep (nighttime bruxism). Your dentist may notice signs of excessive tooth wear during your routine checkup appointment, prompting a careful diagnosis and consultation to decide on the best course of treatment. In many cases, bruxism can be addressed simply, with a custom-designed guard that fits comfortably over your teeth as you sleep.

Signs that You Have Bruxism

When you have bruxism, the constant grinding of your teeth can lead to a host of potential symptoms and risks to your oral health. For example, untreated bruxism can lead to:

  • Increasingly more sensitive teeth
  • Worn-down tooth surfaces
  • Weaker teeth that are more likely to crack
  • Chipped tooth edges and surfaces
  • A change in your bite’s balance
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • And the development of TMJ disorder

Addressing Your Jaw Dysfunction

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder is a common result of bruxism, though it can often be the cause of it. The dysfunction occurs when one or both of your jaw joints become damaged, inflamed, forced out of alignment, or otherwise compromised and unable to move properly. As a result, your two TMJs don’t function together, and the discomfort that TMJ disorder generates can affect virtually any part of your mouth, face, head, or neck. The varying symptoms of TMJ disorder can make it challenging to detect, but once your dentist diagnoses the condition, it can be addressed with appropriate treatment. That may include a custom appliance that allows your jaw to rest more comfortably while you sleep.

Signs that You Have TMJ Disorder

When you develop TMJ disorder, the dysfunction in your jaw joints can potentially cause several different issues to occur. For example, your compromised TMJs could lead to:

  • Pain and soreness in your jaw muscles
  • Popping or clicking sensations in your jaw
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Pain and ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
  • Painful, sore facial and neck muscles
  • And the development of bruxism

Stop Teeth-Grinding and Jaw Pain

When you suffer from bruxism and/or TMJ disorder, treating it can have a significantly positive impact on both your oral health and your overall quality of life. To find out if you can benefit from a custom bruxism or TMJ appliance, or to schedule an appointment, call the Sunny Smiles office nearest you in El Paso, TX, today! We have offices in East and Northeast El Paso, and happily welcome patients from all nearby communities, including Chaparral, Canutillo, Vinton, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.