Preventing and Treating TMD/TMJ Disorders and Teeth Grinding

Discover some of the best methods that could spell relief from your teeth grinding and clenching.

Having a dentist in Grand Rapids, MI that you can trust is vitally important to your oral health. After all, dental problems can arise and youTMD/TMJ want someone to whom you can turn for care. If temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome or teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) is affecting you, then it’s time to learn how our family dentist, Dr. Kent Wildern, can help you.

What is TMD/TMJ disorder?

TMD/TMJ disorder is a condition that often comes about from teeth grinding or clenching which may lead to pain in the jaws. When this happens it can make chewing or biting down uncomfortable or even painful. Jaws may get tired more easily or ache and throb. These symptoms may also be exacerbated when opening your mouth wide.

Sometimes TMD/TMJ disorder comes about as a result of a malocclusion, or “bad bite”, in which the top and bottom teeth don’t equally touch. This means that some teeth take on more pressure from the powerful biting and chewing forces of the jaws than other. Not only can this lead to this painful jaw problem but it can also lead to dental pain, tooth sensitivity and even chipped/fractured teeth.

Two ways in which to combat TMD/TMJ disorders and teeth grinding is through custom-made bite splints created by our Grand Rapids dentist, or through a simple procedure called occlusal adjustment.

Bite Splints

A bite splint is a tailor-made oral appliance that is designed to fit over the top teeth at night while you are asleep, when teeth grinding and clenching often happens and can do the most damage and wear to the jaw joints and cartilage. By wearing this simple device at night while you sleep, you can reduce your risk of chipped, fractured or worn teeth, as well as prevent TMD/TMJ disorders (or reduce symptoms of TMD/TMJ disorders).

Occlusal Adjustments

In areas where teeth don’t equally touch, we might recommend an occlusal adjustment in which we alter the shape of the biting surfaces by filing away some enamel to improve the overall bite and how teeth fit together. This treatment may also be recommended in conjunction with wearing a bite splint.

Do you have questions about treating your TMD/TMJ disorder in Grand Rapids, MI? If so, don’t hesitate to call our office or schedule a consultation with us. Your smile is our priority.