TMJ Treatment in Surrey
What are Bruxism and TMJ?
Chronic, habitual teeth grinding is known as bruxism in clinical circles. The condition can be caused by stress, heredity, injury, or a dental condition.
Often, people grind their teeth while sleeping and only find out that they suffer from bruxism when their roommate mentions it. Dr. Chohan may also find evidence of bruxism, such as tooth wear and fractures. Over time, teeth grinding can grind down tooth enamel and change how upper and lower teeth fit together, a relationship known as occlusion or, in the case of a poor fit, malocclusion. When malocclusion exists, the jaw muscles are overworked from having to compensate for teeth not having a relaxed resting position. Jaw joints, or temporomandibular joints (TMJs), become misaligned, and related muscles must work even harder. Confused nerves send pain signals to the brain, and the patient experiences many nagging symptoms. This condition is known as TMJ disorder or TMD.
Who Needs Bruxism or TMJ Treatment?
Patients who know that they grind their teeth, those with tooth wear that stems from bruxism, and patients who express TMD symptoms will require treatment. Some signs of TMD include:
- Jaw joint sounds, like clicking or popping
- Discomfort opening the mouth wide or closing the mouth
- Shoulder, head, neck, or low back pain
- Tingling extremities (fingers, toes)
- Chronic migraines or headaches
- Unexplained tooth wear and fractures
- Ringing ears or recurring earaches
What to Expect at Your Appointment
If you suspect that you’re a bruxer, Dr. Chohan will look for tooth wear, damage, and malocclusion. She will also manually manipulate your jaw joints. Bruxism and TMJ disorder are commonly treated with an oral splint, devised to prevent upper and lower teeth from touching. Worn during sleep, or during the day for daytime bruxers, the oral splint simply eliminates the potential for teeth grinding. It also holds the jaw in its natural, relaxed position so that jaw muscles and nerves can rest. With time, muscles may reprogram to their proper position, and the splint can be discarded. However, most often, the splint is a lifelong treatment.
The doctor will also recommend that you avoid habits that may exacerbate your jaw pain. These could include gum chewing, fingernail biting, pencil or pen biting, chewing ice, and similar habits.
Malocclusion will also need to be addressed, either by building up worn teeth with restorative dental crowns or by undergoing orthodontic treatment. Correcting this underlying problem will help your mouth regain health and wellness.
What to Expect Following Your Appointment
Wearing your oral appliance as directed should relieve jaw pain and other symptoms. Dr. Chohan will explain what you can expect from treatment, whether she predicts that you will need the appliance indefinitely or temporarily. Tooth wear and damage caused by teeth grinding should also stop. If an oral appliance and re-establishing proper occlusion does not end your symptoms, the doctor may refer you to a specialist for evaluation.
Book a Consultation Now!
Call us to book an appointment if you are experiencing signs of TMD. We will get to the root of the problem! You may also be interested in our other preventative services including gum disease treatment, root canal therapy, or tooth extractions, including the removal of wisdom teeth.
Do you get anxious about going to the dentist? Not to worry! We also provide sleep dentistry to help make you as comfortable as possible.
Our dental office serves patients from Surrey, Delta, White Rock, Langley, and surrounding communities.