Do you grind your teeth at night? Lots of people do. This condition is also known as bruxism. Grinding your teeth in your sleep can leave you at risk for a number of dental issues, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.
If you're worried about your teeth-grinding habits, Madison Square Dentistry of Manhattan, New York, is here to help. Our experienced care team, led by Lawrence Wang, DDS, treats patients dealing with bruxism with a variety of methods, and can suggest treatments for TMJ issues as well. There are many steps you can take to protect your teeth at night and resolve your TMJ pain for good.
Many causes can lead to you grinding your teeth while you sleep, from bite problems to spikes in stress. When you're asleep, you can't consciously keep managing the tensions of daytime life. In your sleep, you can end up putting a lot of pressure on your body without knowing you're doing it.
Pressing down or grinding your teeth has consequences for your teeth's strength and alignment, but can also cause other kinds of pain, including TMJ. Your mouth, jaw, and neck are all connected, and tension in your mouth can cause lasting damage in other parts of your upper body. TMJ affects millions of people around the country with jaw joint dysfunction and surrounding muscle pain.
You might have TMJ problems if you're dealing with symptoms like:
- A popping sound when opening and closing your mouth
- Difficulty or pain when chewing
- Facial, neck, or ear pain
- Locked, stiffened, or tender jaws
Nighttime teeth grinding isn't the only potential cause of TMJ pain, but it's a leading contributor in many cases.
Curing your painful jaws
You don't just have to live with TMJ pain or the other negative impacts of teeth grinding. At Madison Square Dentistry, we offer multiple treatment options that can reduce your bruxism and release you from TMJ problems. Some of the interventions you can try are:
- Applying heat or cold to your face or neck
- Medications that reduce pain and inflammation in the short term
- Stabilization splints
- Nighttime mouthguards
- Physical therapy or jaw strengthening and stretching exercises
- Injection treatments
- Ultrasound therapy
If you're dealing with TMJ and are ready to end the struggle with your pain, contact Madison Square Dentistry today. Dr. Wang will review your symptoms and history and recommend the right treatment options for your unique health care needs.
If needed, Dr. Wang may use imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI to finalize your TMJ diagnosis. You don't have to suffer from TMJ or nighttime bruxism. Help is available! To schedule your initial consultation appointment, call our Manhattan, New York City, New York offices, or use the online booking tool.