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Do you know what your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is? It’s simply your jaw joint. If you suffer from chronic headaches or jaw pain, you might have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). 


If you clench or grind your teeth, you probably have bruxism, a TMD caused by either physical or psychological stress or a sleep disorder. You may experience earaches and headaches. And you might not be able to fully open your mouth. 


You may also hear clicking or grating sounds in the joint and feel pain when opening and closing your mouth. If left untreated, bruxism can wear down your teeth, potentially causing permanent damage to your teeth and jaw joints.










Common signs include:


  • Chipped teeth

  • Worn down teeth

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Reduction of tooth enamel

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Changed appearance of face (square/wider jaw)


Treatment options include:


  • Changes to your eating habits

  • Learning set exercises to stretch your jaw muscles

  • Taking medication such as a muscle relaxant injection to relax your facial muscles

  • Orthodontic adjustments such as braces to change the way your teeth come together

Your treatment may also involve repairing the damaged teeth with restorations such as crowns, inlays, or onlays to replace the damaged tooth surface. You will probably be fitted with an occlusal splint (night guard) made from hard plastic. Simply place the splint over your affected teeth (upper or lower) each night to prevent further wear of the tooth surfaces.

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