Bruxism—which is often referred to as teeth grinding—is a condition in which a person unconsciously clenches or gnashes his or her teeth. While bruxism may be temporary or mild, it can also lead to painful dental problems, including temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD).
St. Joseph, Michigan, dentist Dr. Sven Erickson has extensive experience helping patients find relief from migraine-like headaches and other TMJ symptoms. Please call Modern Dentistry Associates at 269-264-4388 to schedule your consultation; Dr. Erickson welcomes patients from the greater Niles, Kalamazoo and South Bend areas.
Those with bruxism are often not aware that they grind their teeth until symptoms of other problems, such as TMJ/TMD or damaged teeth, arise. Teeth grinding frequently occurs during sleep.
Bruxism can contribute to TMJ by causing undue stress on the sensitive components in the connective regions between your mandible (lower jaw) and your skull. Included in this network are the temporomandibular joints, which are the connecting jaw joints, and the trigeminal nerve, which registers sensation in the face and is involved in certain facial motor functions.
Many patients with bruxism-related TMJ/TMD are able to correct the source of the problem and relieve their painful symptoms with the use of custom-made nightguards. These oral appliances are similar to sports mouthguards, but they are individually crafted to comfortably fit your unique bite.
Nightguards work by holding your jaw in its natural resting position while you sleep. This inhibits your unconscious ability to clench or grind your teeth.
TMJ/TMD treatments vary depending on the source and severity of your condition. Your thorough exam with Dr. Erickson will determine the best option for your individual needs. For additional information on TMJ symptoms and treatments, please see our Neuromuscular Dentistry page.
If you suffer from recurring headaches or other indicators of TMJ/TMD, please contact Modern Dentistry Associates today. Dr. Erickson welcomes patients from St. Joseph, Michigan, and the surrounding Niles, Kalamazoo and South Bend areas.