Treatment for Teeth-Grinding and Jaw Pain

Many oral/maxillofacial issues directly impact one or more of the structures that are responsible for your bite function. Bruxism and TMJ disorder are two common issues that do so in ways that aren’t always easy to detect at first, but that can have significant impacts the more they progress. With our extensive experience dealing with such issues, we can help many patients overcome bruxism and/or TMJ disorder with a personalized, comprehensive oral/maxillofacial treatment plan. Our goal is always to provide the most minimally invasive treatment options, which means avoiding surgery when possible through the use of more conservative interceptive measures, such as custom-designed oral appliances.

Symptoms of chronic bruxism

Bruxism is the constant grinding of one’s teeth, and it can have many different potential contributing factors. For instance, crooked teeth can make your bite uncomfortable, forcing it to shift around when at rest and cause your teeth to grind together. Chronic stress, issues with your jaw joints and muscles, and other factors can also contribute to your bruxism, and only a comprehensive examination will be able to help us determine the factors that contribute to your condition. Common symptoms that can warn you of bruxism include:

  • Increasingly more sensitive teeth
  • Worn down teeth (you’ll feel it in your bite, or see it in the mirror)
  • Chips, fractures, and other forms of tooth damage
  • Chronic headaches, including migraines
  • Occasional tinnitus (pain and ringing in one or both ears)
  • Soreness in your facial and jaw muscles
  • The development of TMJ disorder
  • And much more

Symptoms of having TMJ disorder

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and you have one on either side of your jaw. TMJs are the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull, and they’re the joints that allow your jaw to open and close as you bite, chew, and speak. When one or both of these joints become damaged or over-stressed, or if they’re forced out of alignment, they’ll no longer be able to function properly, and the discomfort can become intense. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder can include:

  • Popping and clicking sensations when you move your jaw
  • Occasional locked jaw, or inability to open or close your mouth
  • Painful shifting of your jaw when you bite, chew, speak, or yawn
  • Consistently painful, sore jaw muscles
  • The presence of bruxism (chronic teeth-grinding)
  • Increasingly more severe headaches and migraines
  • And much more

Treat your bruxism or TMJ disorder

Issues like bruxism and TMJ disorder can cause increasing levels of discomfort as well as profoundly impact your bite’s ability to function properly. To learn more about how we can treat bruxism or TMJ disorder, or to schedule an appointment with us, call the office of Dr. Stuart Dexter in Prairie Village, KS, today at 913-362-8200.