TMJ and Bruxism

Do you wake up with migraines, sore jaws, or tooth pain? At the dental office of Michael J Nelson, DDS, we offer various treatments for jaw joint disorders and unrelenting dental pain. Disorders of the jaw joints can be very painful and harmful to one’s health and wellness. 

What Is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding-hinge joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. Located on each side of the jaw, it is one of the most heavily used joints in the body as it controls jaw movement for eating, chewing, speaking, yawning, laughing, and more. TMJ disorders (TMD) can cause pain and discomfort in the joints and surrounding muscles. 

What Is Bruxism?

Teeth grinding and clenching are common symptoms associated with TMJ disorders. Bruxism also contributes to dental wear, headaches, and tooth sensitivity. People can grind and clench their teeth unknowingly during the day or sleep and can progress due to tension, stress, and anxiety.

Signs and Symptoms of TMJ 

Signs and symptoms of TMJ vary from person to person, but some of them include:

  • Clicking or popping in the jaws or while chewing 
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth 
  • Pain or soreness in the jaw joints
  • Neck, shoulder, or facial pain
  • Migraines or headaches
  • A misaligned bite
  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth 
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Shortened or worn teeth 
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity 

If you have any of these symptoms, please feel free to contact us for an appointment. We can provide relief so you can enjoy the healthy, pain-free smile you deserve.

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

Your dentist may be able to determine the origin of your TMJ issues, but there isn’t always a clearly defined cause. Jaw problems can occur due to the following: 

  • Accidents
  • Trauma to the face, jaw, or mouth 
  • Sports injuries
  • An unbalanced dental bite
  • Medical conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases)
  • Genetics
  • Overuse 

Whatever the reason, Dr. Nelson can create an effective and gentle treatment that works for you and improves your smile’s health and comfort. 

TMJ and Bruxism Treatment in St. Louis Park

Like any treatment, TMJ and bruxism treatment is very personal. Depending on the patient’s needs, the dentist will develop a treatment plan. Treatment also depends on the patient’s symptoms, health history, and severity of the condition. There are various treatment options, including:

  • Occlusal splint therapy 
  • Neuromuscular treatment
  • Massage therapy
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Deprogrammers 

Many cases of TMJ can be treated without surgery, though severe cases may require it for the patient’s health and quality of life. 

Dr. Michael Nelson offers patient education and information for lifestyle and home remedies, such as relaxation techniques, stretching, avoiding overuse of jaw muscles, and heat and cold therapy.

Our dental office also offers occlusal splint therapy to alleviate TMJ and bruxism symptoms. Occlusal splint therapy is a custom-made oral appliance that repositions the jaws, relieves the surrounding muscles, and protects your teeth from premature wear and the impact of bruxing. A custom occlusal splint is crafted to fit your mouth comfortably and release the pressure from the TMJ and surrounding muscles. 

Let Us Help Relieve Your Jaw Pain

Do you suffer from TMJ or bruxism? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact our St. Louis Park dental office for treatment options. Our team can recommend the best treatment for your needs so you can enjoy a healthy and comfortable smile.