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Your NE Calgary Choice for Jaw Pain, Bruxism & TMJ Treatment!

What is Bruxism?

If you find yourself waking up with sore jaw muscles or a headache, you may be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of teeth. Sometimes patients are not even aware they are clenching and grinding while they sleep. Bruxism can cause wear patterns or chips and cracks in the teeth right through the enamel. This wear can cause increased sensitivity. Over time, bruxism can also destroy the bone and gum tissue, which can result in the teeth becoming mobile. It can also lead to serious problems involving the jaw joint, such as temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

NE Calgary TMJ Therapy | Pathways Dental Clinic

How do I know if I Have Bruxism?

What is Bruxism? If you find yourself waking up with sore jaw muscles or a headache, you may be suffering from bruxism (the grinding and clenching of teeth). Sometimes patients aren’t even aware they are clenching and grinding while they sleep. Bruxism can cause wear patterns or chips and cracks in the teeth right through the enamel. This wear can cause increased sensitivity. Over time Bruxism can also destroy the bone and gum tissue resulting in the teeth becoming mobile. It can also lead to serious problems involving the jaw joint, such as temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).

Bruxism is often a subconscious condition for many patients. They may not even know they’re doing it until their partner tells them they make grinding sounds while they sleep. For other patients, it isn’t until they have a dental checkup that they find out they have been clenching. Your dentist can assess whether the teeth are worn, the enamel is chipped, or the jaw muscles are overworked.

Some other possible symptoms of bruxism include facial, head, and neck pain, or headaches—all resulting from the strained muscles from clenching and grinding the teeth. The dentists at Pathways Dental Clinic will make a clear diagnosis to decide if bruxism is the cause of facial pain and headaches. If you feel as though you have Bruxism, feel free to give Pathways Dental Clinic a call, and our dentists will provide you with any information you need to know. Pathways Dental Clinic is committed to ensuring that you feel confident in your treatment options.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the name of the joint that connects your mandible (jawbone) to your temporal bone (skull). The TMJ can move side to side, rotate and move forward, backward, and is one of the most complex joints in the body. The TMJ, working with other muscles and ligaments, lets you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. When you have a problem with the muscles, bone, or other tissue in the area in and around the TMJ, you may have a TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction).

TMJ disorder can result in many uncomfortable conditions and side effects like:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle Pain Through the Neck and Shoulders
  • Broken Teeth and Fillings
  • The Inability to Open and Close Your Mouth (lockjaw)
  • Popping and Clicking Noises of the TMJ

TMJ Linked to Sleep Apnea

75-80% of cases of TMJ syndrome are directly related to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when there are interruptions in breathing during sleep. The jaws and teeth can clench and grind against one another as people struggle to breathe during sleep. Because of this Bruxism, teeth start to wear, restorations may break, and eventually, jaw pain and headaches may stem from the TMJ.

Other factors that cause TMJ disorders can be misaligned teeth or injuries such as a motor vehicle accident. If the bite is uneven from an injury or misaligned teeth, there can be uneven and excessive strain placed on the jaw joint.

Splint, and Botox Therapy for Bruxism and TMJ Pain

Dr. Kim and Dr. Bouma may recommend that you wear a custom night guard (splint) to alleviate your Bruxism and TMJ pain and symptoms. Splints help realign the jaw and prevent the jaw from fully engaging when it should be resting. This lack of engagement significantly reduces the amount of force placed on the jaw and the sequential strain on the muscles activated during clenching and grinding. This custom-fit hard or soft plastic dental device is inserted over a patient’s upper and lower teeth. It has been shown to help realign the jaw and alleviate the pain associated with TMD, along with protecting your teeth. In some cases, Botox therapy can also be very effective. The Botox injections relieve muscle tension in and around the joint, by relaxing the otherwise clenched muscles, so that your symptoms are less severe.

Managing Your Jaw Discomfort

Whatever the source of your pain or discomfort, you may be able to target the cause and reverse the effects. For more information on TMJ disorders, or to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Bouma or Dr. Kim, call Pathways Dental Clinic today to set up a consultation.

A general dentist provides all treatment. For more complex cases, we may refer our patients to a specialist for treatment

Call Pathways Dental Clinic at (403) 455-5565 to book a Jaw Pain, Bruxism and TMJ treatment consultation appointment today!