TMJ and Bruxism Treatment

You might be surprised when you learn how much of your overall well-being is dependent on a healthy mouth and jaw. Much of this revolves around your jaw joint, technically known as your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. If you suffer from inflammation and irritation of your TMJ, you likely suffer sleep interruption, which can be severe considering many people already struggle to get enough sleep. National data shows that one in four Americans spend at least half their time sleep-deprived.

So if you wake up with sore facial muscles, pain in your jaw, or persistent headaches, you’d be ill-advised to let the impacts compound, so they consume your waking and sleeping periods. Instead, a call to James Lin DMD can start you on the process of relief with the least invasive options available.

How Is Bruxism Related to TMJ Disorders?

Bruxism is the term for persistent teeth grinding or clenching that usually happens when you sleep. This condition can become chronic and is a common cause of TMJ disorders. The two conditions are also related in their symptoms and the treatment which Dr. Lin will likely recommend.

The Consequences of Untreated Bruxism or TMJ Disorder

The main issue with teeth grinding and TMJ problems is their chronic nature. The negative health impacts accumulate over time and spread to other parts of your body. Some long-term issues associated with bruxism and TMJ disorders are:

  • Bite issues and cracks on teeth
  • Worn down teeth edges giving the appearance of shortened teeth
  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic pain and jaw inflammation
  • Jaw tightness or even locking
  • Gumline notching

The dental team at James Lin DMD will use leading-edge diagnostic technology to help determine the cause and, thereby, the best solution to your TMJ disorder.

Common TMJ Disorder Symptoms

Statistics suggest that TMJ issues affect people between ages 20–40 and are more prevalent in women than men. If you consistently suffer any of the following, you may have a TMJ disorder:

  • Jaw and head pain, especially in the morning
  • Earache
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Lockjaw in any position
  • A clicking or popping sound as you open and close your mouth
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in your ears
  • Facial swelling
  • Tooth pain not related to a tooth or gum infection

Nightguards Are Simple Solutions to Teeth Grinding

After Dr. Lin has thoroughly diagnosed your problems, the most likely solution is a custom-made nightguard from Glidewell. This clear splint is made from a special acrylic material resisting wearing by preventing your teeth from scraping together. It also does not stain over time. The advantage of our Glidewell nightguards is that they fit tightly because our team takes precise impressions of your unique smile before creating your nightguard to those specifications.

Our nightguards are also superior to over-the-counter options. Those types of nightguards are made of less durable materials, which create a poorer fit. They can also feel more bulky and less comfortable. Although it may initially provide relief, over-the-counter nightguards may worsen your TMJ issue because a dentist has not evaluated how your bottom set of teeth come in contact with the guard (which normally covers the top teeth). We typically would only recommend over-the-counter nightguards if you are in the middle of treatment or for temporary relief. 

We Treat TMJ Disorders and Bruxism in Los Gatos, CA

At James Lin DMD, we want you to start every day on the right foot with a full night’s rest and without facial, jaw, or headache pain. Your health is crucial to the team, and we can’t wait to help solve your TMJ disorder and treat your bruxism. So we hope you won’t delay, give our Los Gatos dental office a call today.