TMJ/TMD & Bruxism Treatment Options
The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw and temporal bones and is located in front of your ears. The temporomandibular joints are responsible for allowing you to move your jaw side to side and up and down. When this joint becomes injured or develops problems, individuals can experience a variety of symptoms, such as headaches, jaw pain, loose or fractured teeth, ringing in the ears (tinnitus0, and/or lock jaw. There are three categories of TMJ/TMD disorders:
- Myogenous TMJ problems: Muscle related pain that causes discomfort in the jaw, neck, shoulders, or temples
- Degenerative joint disease: Caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or other issues
- Jaw joint generated pain: Internal derangement of TMJ can displace a disc, dislocate the jaw, and/or injure condyles
Although the exact link is not known, it is possible that TMD can be caused by Bruxism, which is a condition where the individual grinds or clenches their teeth, either while awake or sleeping. Habits like cheek or tongue biting, pencil chewing, or nail biting are considered forms of awake bruxism. Snoring is a common indication of sleep bruxism. Other common signs of bruxism include:
- Waking up with clenched teeth
- Tooth or gum sensitivity
- Pain while chewing
- Jaw pain
- Loose or fractured teeth
- Ringing in your ears
- Popping sound when opening/closing your jaw
At Dental Serenity™, we offer a comprehensive range of dental procedures, from common treatments like fillings or root canal therapy, cosmetic treatments like veneers or teeth whitening, restorative procedures like dental implants to replace a missing tooth or teeth, emergency care, and treatment of issues like TMJ/TMD and Bruxism. To ensure you are comfortable and have as enjoyable an experience as possible, we also offer sedation dentistry so you can remain calm and receive the care you need.
If you are interested in learning more about the quality services we offer, or to schedule an appointment to treat TMJ/TMD and/or Bruxism, contact our office at 703-445-9600, stop by our clinic located at 17181 Wayside Dr., Dumfries, Virginia, or schedule an appointment online.
Causes and Treatment of TMJ/TMD and Bruxism
Although the exact cause of TMJ/TMD and Bruxism is unknown, the following are possible contributing factors:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Dislocation of Cushioning Disc
- Direct injury to join
- Genetic predisposition
- Medication side effect
- Sleep apnea
TMJ/TMD and Bruxism can be treated through a variety of methods, including lifestyle changes such as limiting or eliminating caffeine, avoiding repetitive jaw movements like chewing gum or yawning, limiting or avoiding alcohol, implementing relaxation techniques like yoga, practicing mindfulness, or scheduling regular massages, and performing jaw stretches and exercises to relieve discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relief medications can also help reduce discomfort, but will not correct your issue.
If making these changes does not correct TMJ/TMD or Bruxism, a mouth or night guard is recommended. These guards are made of hard plastic that are worn on your lower or upper teeth and are designed to stabilize, reposition, and alleviate jaw pressure, which in turn should eliminate or reduce TMD symptoms. These guards can be purchased in stores, but we strongly recommend getting fitted for a customized guard that is designed for your unique needs. In addition to increasing the likelihood of correcting your TMD or Bruxism, you also reduce your risk of developing addition complications that can develop due to an improperly fitted guard.
Although changes in lifestyle and/or use of night guards can result in successful correction of TMJ/TMD or Bruxism for many patients, results will vary. If these approaches do not correct your issue, alternative treatment options include muscle relaxants and realignment of your teeth with braces. Surgical intervention is also an option for more severe cases, but this is often saved as a last resort once all other treatment options have been exhausted.
What is the Cost of Treating TMJ/TMD and Bruxism?
The cost of treating TMJ/TMD or Bruxism will depend on a variety of factors, including what treatment approach is taken, the type of night or mouth guard you select, and whether you are covered by dental insurance. If you do have dental insurance, your final bill will be determined by your dental insurance coverage, co-pay requirements, and annual deductibles. When considering the costs involved in treating your TMJ/TMD or Bruxism, it is important to keep in mind the costs that you will incur if you do not correct the issue, which may include paying for treating teeth that become chipped or cracked or other issues that can develop.
Our clinic is in network with most PPOs and accepts all insurance plans. We also offer interest free financing through Lending Club, and CareCredit, or you may consider joining our Dental Serenity Membership Club to save money on treatment and simplify your payments for preventative care. To learn more about Dental Serenity Membership Club, click on the following link: https://dental-serenity.illumitrac.com/
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Dentistry with a Gentle Touch
At Dental Serenity™, we understand that visiting the dentist can cause concern and anxiety, which is why we do everything we can to ensure that your experience is an enjoyable one. To help provide you with as enjoyable an experience as possible, our office is fitted with free high-speed wireless internet, flat screen TVs in all of our treatment rooms, soothing music to put you in a relaxed state, aromatherapy, and neck massagers in our waiting room. We are also committed to providing you with services when you need them most, which is why we offer early morning and late evening appointments throughout the week.
To schedule an appointment to treat TMJ/TMD and/or Bruxism, contact us today. We look forward to providing you with the best dental care possible delivered in a comfortable and calm environment by professionals who are committed to ensuring that you receive the personalized care you deserve!