Teeth and Jaw Grinding While You Sleep
Bruxism TMJ is a condition that can be very painful as well as socially embarrassing. Let us look at what is Bruxism, what are its symptoms and how you can cure it effectively:
What is this condition?
Bruxism TMJ is a condition where one grinds ones teeth in the night which is usually accompanied by the clenching of jaws resulting in damaged teeth. A mild grinding of teeth happens in most human beings and is not a serious problem. But when this activity is done unconsciously when asleep, it becomes a health issue. TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint which connects the lower jaw to the skull and problems in this region can cause a lot of discomfort. Some bruxers grind or clench during the day when they are anxious or tense and some others do it in their sleep which usually goes undiagnosed.
How does one recognize the condition?
Bruxism TMJ may go unnoticed in most people. A sleeping partner or a parent may notice the grinding as it can be loud. It can result in worn out surface of the teeth, abfractions and sometimes even fractures in the teeth. Due to the excess stress on the jaw it may cause head aches, neck pain, locking of the jaw, difficulty in opening the jaw and popping sounds while chewing. These popping sounds are called TMJ clicking and they may not be painful. A change in the way one bites may also be an indicator of problems in TMJ. It is seen in people who are always angry, frustrated and aggressive and have over competitive tendencies.
Effects of Bruxism TMJ
- Bruxism TMJ can be result in muscle spasms and inflammatory reactions.
- Because of the grinding, the teeth will be of different length and uneven and this will also damage the Temporomandibular joints.
- TMJ facial pain occurs after a nap or in the morning because the continuous clenching and unclenching of jaws results in facial muscles.
- Compression of nerves and blood vessels in the back of the jaw joint can cause headaches, jaw, face and neck pain. And when the muscles go into spasm they can even pinch the nerves leading to your arms and hands resulting in TMJ numbness.
- It may obstruct the airway resulting in obstructive sleep apnea.
Why night guards don’t work
To minimize abrasion of the surfaces of teeth, most general dentists recommend a night guard or a split for bruxsim or teeth grinning to prevent damage to the teeth. However, a night guard does alleviate the problem. Its function is to protect your teeth from wear. In other words, when you wear the night guard, in most instances, you will continue to grind the guard instead of your own teeth. The night guard will not stop the damage to the jaw joints, the muscles, and the nerves. In most instances, the patients continue to have symptoms and in fact, some patients conditions will deteriorate. Over the course of the past decades, Dr. Eddie Siman has treated patients that have presented with multiple night guards and splits that have been made by previous dentists. Many of these patients reported that these appliances did not alleviate their painful TMJ symptoms.
The proper treatment for the TMJ should aim at eliminating the cause. To treat TMJ properly, repositioning appliances can be used to reposition the jaw in the proper, relaxed, and physiologic position by incorporating various modern technologies to relax the muscles that are associated with the jaw. With these advanced techniques, Dr. Eddie Siman has become an expert in finding the proper Jaw position and has helped countless patients alleviate their symptoms over the past 28 years.