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BITE PROBLEMS

TMJ DISORDERS AND FACIAL PAIN

Do you experience pain in your face, jaw, neck, shoulder area or around your ears? Headaches or jaw pains? These can be the symptoms of TMJ disorders or teeth grinding. We do take a detailed clinical history and make a personalized treatment plan to treat this very modern day problem.

Bruxism

Bruxism means excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching occuring either during sleep or while awake. Bruxism is a common behavior bothering most of the adults and youths.  Symptoms of bruxism may be minimal, without patient awareness of the condition.

Symptoms might include

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, maybe loud enough to wake up your partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn out tooth enamel
  • Regular tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired/tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
  • Pain that feels like an earache
  • Dull headache starting in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep disruption

Causes

It is not completely understood what causes bruxism, but it may be due to a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors. Bruxism may be due to emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension. Or it may be a habit during deep concentration.

Risk factors

  • Stress, anger, frustration.
  • Age: common in young children, but it usually goes away eventually.
  • Personality type: aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality.
  • Medications and other substances: certain antidepressants, smoking, caffeinated beverages or alcohol, recreational drugs.
  • Family members with bruxism.
  • Other disorders: some mental health and medical disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, night terrors, sleep apnea, and  ADHD.

Early diagnosis of bruxism is advantageous, due to the possible damage that may be incurred and the detrimental effect on quality of life. A diagnosis of bruxism is usually made clinically, and is mainly based on the person’s history (e.g. reports of grinding noises) and the presence of typical signs and symptoms.

Most common treatments for bruxism include bite splints/nightgurads, balancing the bite by minor sanding down or physical exercises, massage and stretching. In more severe cases of bruxism more wide range of treatments such as prosthetic treatments must be done.

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