Visit Norwood Dental in McKinney, TX
What is TMJ and Bruxism?
TMJ is an acronym for “temporomandibular joint” and it refers to the joint that hinges the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone of the skull on each side of the head. We use the TMJ every time we talk chew, or even swallow. When this joint becomes displaced (or when the muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint become stretched or damaged), simple movements can become painful. Things we take for granted, such as talking, chewing, or yawning, can be adversely affected by the malfunctioning of the TMJ.
Symptoms of TMJ disorder may include headaches, pain around the ears, popping or grating sounds in the joint areas, and difficulties in opening or closing one’s mouth.
Bruxism, or tooth grinding, affects many people and typically occurs at night when you’re asleep. During bruxism, the jaw moves into positions that a patient does not go to naturally during the day. The forces during sleep are, on average, at least twice as great as the maximum forces generated during waking periods. This excess force may or may not cause soreness to the muscles of your jaw. If the edges of your teeth are chipped, worn, or rough, you probably are grinding and need a splint (nightguard) to protect your teeth.
Treatment for both TMJ disorder and bruxism starts with the fabrication of an occlusal splint or nightguard. Dr. Kent Norwood designs these to sit on the lower teeth, which he has found makes it easier for patients to get used to wearing it.
Contact Norwood Dental today if you have any questions about TMJ or bruxism, or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment with our staff. Our office is located in McKinney, and we also serve the cities of Plano, Wylie, Frisco, Allen, and beyond.