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TMJ & Bruxism Problems


The specialists at City Smiles DC are more than happy to assist patients suffering from TMJ and bruxism problems. TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorders are certain conditions that affect how the jaw functions. This can be the cause of pain, stiffness, headaches, and other signs such as locking of the patient's jaw. TMJ disorders can significantly affect our lives, affecting our speech and how we eat.

Causes of TMJ Disorders


One apparent cause of pain and stiffness in the joint is trauma. That means a person who has had a recent injury or accident can suffer from temporary TMJ, which should be expected to fade as the person heals. Also, TMJ can be as a result of flu, colds, ear infections, or sinus issues that exert pressure on the TMJ.

Treatment Options for TMJ


In some instances, the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders will fade away without any treatment. However, you might be forced to visit our specialists in case the symptoms persist. Our specialists will recommend different treatment options, depending on the cause of your symptoms. Some of these treatment options include medications to reduce pain caused by TMJ disorders, non-drug therapies, and surgical procedures.

Our specialists can also recommend home remedies such as massage, cold or hot compresses, and OTC painkillers to manage the pain. However, you should come and see us for diagnostics, so that we can give you the preferred treatment options.

Bruxism, on the other hand, is a condition where someone gnashes, clenches, or grinds their teeth. This happens unconsciously, either when you are sleeping (sleep bruxism) or when you are awake (awake bruxism). Bruxism does not cause harm to your teeth; however, when you grind your teeth regularly, then you can damage your teeth or develop other complications with your oral health. Many people find it hard to stop clenching their teeth since it is an unconscious habit.

Causes of Bruxism


We have not yet understood why some people have bruxism while others do not. However, we have discovered that the causes of bruxism are mostly related to emotional and psychological aggravators that are related to sleep.

Some of the common causes of bruxism include abnormal teeth alignment, prescription drugs, sleep disorders like insomnia, and consumption of alcohol and caffeinated drinks that tend to over-stimulate your brain. Also, issues like stress disorders, aggressive personalities, and suppressed anger can cause bruxism, especially during sleep. Grinding of teeth is typical behavior among aggressive people and those struggling with frustrations.

How to Control Bruxism


We can help you in managing bruxism by giving you a mouthguard, which should prevent you from grinding your teeth, especially while sleeping. If you have bruxism because of sleeping disorder or stress-related issues, we can recommend various options to assist you in reducing stress.

We can also give you some tips to assist you to stop grinding your teeth. Some of these tips include avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks, training yourself to stop grinding or clenching your teeth, and avoiding chewing on things like pens and pencils.

Read more about night guards and oral appliances.

TMJ and bruxism are serious conditions that can cause considerable damage to your jaw functionality and teeth. Therefore, if you are experiencing TMJ and bruxism related symptoms, feel free to contact City Smiles DC at (202) 539-9499 today.
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