Grinding & TMJ

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Grinding & TMJDo you experience frequent headaches? Do you have constant soreness or tightness in your jaw muscles? You’re not alone. Jaw pain sends many individuals to their family dentist each year. Among the leading causes are teeth grinding and a condition called TMJ Disorder. At Antelope Creek Family Dentistry in Lancaster County, we are equipped to help with both!

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is the habit of grinding, gnashing, or clenching your teeth. While occasional teeth grinding is not harmful, severe and daily teeth grinding can lead to tooth fracture, tooth loss, and damaged enamel. Additionally, grinding teeth may lead to other health complications such as jaw disorders (like TMJ Disorder) and headaches.

Teeth grinding most commonly occurs at night, meaning you may not be aware you are doing it. Although the exact scientific causes of teeth grinding haven’t been determined, dentists believe possible causes may include stress, anxiety, or the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth.

Treating Teeth Grinding

In many cases, teeth grinding may not require treatment. Children, for example, typically grow out of the habit on their own. Furthermore, many adults do not grind their teeth with enough severity to warrant dental intervention. However, if you experience some of the symptoms of teeth grinding, or if your family dentist detects related damage, treatment is often simple. Our dental team at Antelope Creek Family Dentistry will fit you with a customized mouthguard to wear at night to prevent further damage. If you have any questions about the symptoms or believe you or your child engage in teeth grinding, give us a call at (402) 486-1200.

TMJ Disorder

The “Temporomandibular Joint” (TMJ) is responsible for the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Symptoms of TMJ Disorder include the following:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, in/around the ear, and even the neck and shoulders
  • Difficulties opening the mouth wide
  • A “popping” sound when opening or closing your mouth
  • Swelling on the side of the face

Treating TMJ Disorder

Our specialists at Antelope Creek Family Dentistry offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may vary. Most cases are mild enough that common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief. For more serious cases of TMJ Disorder, your family dentist may suggest alternate treatments. Alternatives may include a mouthguard to relieve teeth grinding, or specialized orthodontic appliances and retainers (to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint). For the most severe cases of TMJ Disorder, we may recommend more invasive procedures to ensure your symptoms and the problem are alleviated.

Visit Our Office In Lancaster County

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If you are experiencing any symptoms of teeth grinding or have more questions about treating the condition, contact our friendly staff. We would be happy to schedule a consultation for any dental problems you or your family may experience. Conveniently located in Lancaster County, Antelope Creek Family Dentistry provides quality cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry care to people of all ages. Stop by today! We can’t wait to make you smile.