Treatment for tooth grinding (Bruxism) and TMJ

Alleviating your TMJ (Temporomandibular Jaw) and jaw pain

At totalcare dentistry, we strive to give our patients their most optimal oral and overall health.

Your jawbone initiates much of your oral movement, such as smiling, chewing and speaking. When there is a dysfunction in this bone, known as temporomandibular disorder or TMD, you can fall victim to a number of debilitating symptoms that can affect more than just your oral condition. At totalcare dentistry we provide comprehensive care of TMJ and jaw pain.

How can you develop a dysfunction?

Your temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge that connects your lower jaw to your temporal bone (which is situated in front of the ear). This flexible joint enables your oral function when eating and speaking and plays a central role in your oral health.

There are a number of factors that contribute to TMJ and jaw pain. These factors include:

  • Trauma to the jaw
  • Grinding and clenching (which can be both a symptom and a cause of jaw pain)
  • Jaw discomfort can occur due to overfilled teeth
  • Stressful workplace conditions or any external stress can also cause people to tense their jaw muscles
  • Some patients develop TMJ pain through the presence of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis

Identifying the symptoms

For those suffering TMD, there is a variety of different symptoms that can be experienced, reaching much further than just the jaw. These symptoms include:

  • Clicking or popping of the jaw, as well as jaws that occasionally lock into position
  • Trouble sleeping or tiredness upon waking
  • Consistent headaches and migraines
  • Sensitive or worn teeth
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Limited jaw movement and discomfort when opening the jaw
  • Earaches

Managing and eliminating jaw pain

Many people suffering TMD assume that the symptoms are related to other health concerns and conditions. It is crucial that if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms that you book a dental appointment as early detection can prevent the increase of pain and discomfort, as well as curb the pressure on your jawbone.

When treating TMJ pain there are a number of options available which are dependent on your specific condition and your lifestyle.

Aqualizer™ Dental Splint

We now also offer the progressive technology of the Aqualizer™ Dental Splint. This new dental device can help to create a stable balance and harmony between your bite and your body in order to eliminate TMJ pain. To learn more about this revolutionary new device please contact our team today.

Muscle relaxants can help alleviate the discomfort of TMJ disorders

Our dental team are able to treat TMJ disorders quickly and non-invasively with muscle relaxant injections. Muscle relaxant injections can help to relax the muscles in the jaw that can cause a TMJ dysfunction. By relaxing these muscles our team is able to relieve chronic jaw pain, migraines and headaches, grinding of the teeth and facial pain. We are passionate about providing muscle relaxant injections as surgery and invasive treatments are always the last resort in our practice.

What are muscle relaxants?

A muscle relaxant affects the skeletal muscle function which alleviates tension in the muscle. Muscle relaxants are administered through the skin and directed at muscles that are tense or contracting.

While the muscles targeted will become less tense, patients still retain the ability to chew, speak and express facial emotions as they did before. Muscle relaxants can be an effective option for those who are experiencing pain as a result of a TMJ disorder.

How can muscle relaxants help to alleviate headaches, jaw pain and teeth grinding?

Muscle relaxants can be an effective nonsurgical treatment for TMJ disorders. This treatment is often ideal to treat TMJ disorders as it can temporarily relax the muscles in the jaw that cause clenching and grinding. By preventing clenching and grinding we are able to alleviate the migraines, jaw pain and sensitivity that are symptoms of these concerns.

By preventing clenching and grinding we can also help patients safeguard their teeth against enamel loss which can be caused by continual grinding.

The effects of muscle relaxants when treating a TMJ disorder can often be felt within 24 – 48 hours of treatment. While the full benefits of treatment are often felt within 10 days, it is important to remember that this non-invasive option is not permanent. The results can last anywhere between 3 – 6 months.


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Comprehensive care at our practice

Our team is committed to assisting in relieving pain for our patients suffering from Temporomandibular jaw disorders. During your consultation, our team will discuss with you the various treatment options available to treat TMJ dysfunction and alleviate the symptoms.