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TMJ and Bruxism Problems
Seattle, WA


Seattle dentist, Dr. Kim showing a model skeleton how TMJ probelm occurs at Pacific Modern Dentistry.Your mouth has several components that work together to allow it to perform an array of important tasks. One of these components is your temporomandibular joints. You have two of these joints, located one on each side of your face where the mandible meets the skull. These joints are responsible for the movements of your jaw, allowing you to open and close your mouth as well as move the lower jaw from side to side. You can bite, chew, speak, and much more. If the joints become irritated, it can lead to significant pain, which can then lead to issues moving your mouth. Basic movements might become incredibly painful and difficult. One of the issues that can affect your TMJ is bruxism. Pacific Modern Dentistry is here to help.

What is TMJ Disorder?


TMJ disorder is a term that encompasses some different issues that affect your temporomandibular joints. These issues cause irritation and inflammation of the jaw and the joints, which can interfere significantly with your ability to perform different tasks such as eating and speaking. Even just opening your mouth can become very painful. Bruxism is one of the most common causes of TMJ disorder.

Bruxism


When you grind and clench your teeth, it is called bruxism. This condition has many different causes. One of the biggest causes of bruxism is stress. When you are under stress, all of your muscles become tense, including those found in your mouth and jaw. When your jaw muscles tense, your teeth are forced together. This places your jaw, and your TMJ under extreme pressure. Bruxism is common at night when you have no control over your muscle movements. You can grind and clench your teeth continuously, which wears out the muscles and irritates your TMJ.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder and Bruxism


There are several symptoms that are associated with TMJ disorder and bruxism. These symptoms include:
•  Significant jaw and TMJ pain.
•  Excessive, uneven, tooth wear.
•  Difficulty, and pain, eating and speaking.
•  Clicking, grinding or popping in your joints.
•  Your jaw may temporarily lock.
•  Chronic headaches or earaches.

Diagnosing Bruxism and TMJ Disorder


When your jaw and TMJ are causing you pain and making it difficult to do basic things like eating and speaking, it is important that you seek dental treatment as soon as possible. We can diagnose TMJ disorder and bruxism with a thorough oral exam. We look over your teeth, checking for wear patterns and alignment. We assess your jaw for alignment issues as well. We also take digital X-rays of your mouth, which enable us to see the roots of your teeth, your jawbone, and the joints. Once we have determined TMJ disorder and bruxism, we can then create a treatment plan to help stop your pain and restore your quality of life.

How are Bruxism and TMJ Disorder Treated?


There are several treatments that can help to alleviate your bruxism and TMJ pain. Treatments include:
•  Oral appliances. An oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard, except that it is worn over your teeth while you sleep. The guard works to absorb the impact of grinding and clenching, alleviating the pressures on your jaw and your TMJ.
•  Botox injections. Botox works to weaken the muscles that cause bruxism, preventing your teeth from grinding and clenching. This aids in alleviating your pain.
•  Oral surgery. In severe cases, you may require oral surgery.

When your jaw and temporomandibular joints are causing you pain and interfering with your daily life, treatment is needed. Diagnosing these issues and providing you with appropriate treatment can greatly help to restore your quality of life. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Pacific Modern Dentistry today at (206) 607-9822.
Pacific Modern Dentistry



Office Hours
Monday–Wednesday
7:00 AM–5:00 PM
Thursday–Friday
7:00 AM–12:00 PM
Location
2046 Westlake Ave. N. Suite 204
Seattle, WA 98109

Contact
Office: (206) 607-9822
Fax: (206) 284-4757
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