TMJ/TMD

Do you grind your teeth?

man suffering acute toothache jaw pain Do you grind your teeth? You may not even realize it if you do, but constant tooth grinding (also known as “bruxism”) can cause a variety of problems, not only for your teeth but for your overall health and quality of life. What can you do if you grind your teeth?

What causes tooth grinding?

Everyone grinds their teeth occasionally, but it becomes a problem if you do it all the time. You might find yourself grinding your teeth during a stressful day at work, or your partner might tell you that they can hear you grinding your teeth as you sleep (yes, it can be that loud).

It may be your body’s reaction to stress or anxiety, or it could be related to a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. It could also be caused by a dental issue, such as missing or crooked teeth or a misaligned bite.

If you constantly grind your teeth, you might start having headaches all the time, ear pain, and an achy, painful jaw and neck muscles. Over time, tooth grinding can damage teeth, because of the enormous amount of stress grinding places on them. Your tooth enamel can wear off, you might get chips or cracks in your teeth (which can lead to infection), and your teeth may even start to become loose.

If you have been having headaches and pain in your jaw, you should let your dentist know. He or she will check for any damage to teeth and then can recommend ways to help stop your bruxism. Possible treatments include BOTOX® to help relax your muscles or a night guard to keep your bottom and top teeth from touching each other while you sleep. If you grind your teeth as a reaction to stress, developing stress-coping strategies and talking out your problems with a therapist or friend might also be a good idea.

If you think you might grind your teeth, see your dentist right away. Bruxism can damage teeth, and it can also be quite painful, but your dentist can help. Call Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center in East Norriton, PA, at (610) 272-6949 for an appointment today!

Why are my teeth so sensitive?

A Woman With Sensitive Teeth And Cold Ice Cream Sensitive teeth can make it difficult to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks – who doesn’t love a nice, hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning or a bowl of refreshing ice cream on a hot summer’s night? You may think you just have to live with sensitive teeth, but your dentist may be able to help you find some relief.

What causes sensitive teeth?

There could be a few different reasons why your teeth are sensitive. You may have cavities or exposed tooth roots. You may constantly grind your teeth, which can damage teeth in many different ways and make them sensitive. Your tooth enamel may be worn down, or you might have gum disease.

What can help sensitive teeth?

The treatment for sensitive teeth, of course, depends on why they are sensitive in the first place. The problem usually doesn’t go away on its own and it may actually get worse – that’s why you should see your dentist for help. He or she might recommend:

• A gum grafting procedure, if your problem is receding gums and exposed tooth roots. In this procedure, tissue is taken from the upper palate of the mouth and then grafted over the place of recession. A bonding resin might also work to cover up roots that are exposed.

• A night guard, if you grind your teeth at night and it is making your teeth sensitive. This is a piece of plastic that fits over your teeth at night to prevent your upper and lower teeth from touching each other.

• A fluoride treatment, which will help to strengthen teeth and make them more healthy.

Make sure that you don’t give up good dental habits, even if your teeth are sensitive. Don’t forget to floss, brush teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and try a toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth.

Sensitive teeth can be very painful, and they can keep you from enjoying the foods you love – but they can also indicate that you have other serious problems. If you need help for tooth pain and sensitivity, call Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center. Call (610) 272-6949 for an appointment today!

What You Need to Know About TMJ

Cheek pain face pain TMJ Bruxism Have you noticed lately that your jaw has been hurting, tight, and tensed up? Have you been getting headaches? Jaw problems seem to be more and more common, and a joint disorder may be the reason for your pain. Read on for information on TMJ, dealing with the pain, and how your dentist can help.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint connects the skull and the lower jaw bone. It is often known as the “TMJ,” although this has also come to be the catch-all term for jaw joint pain. “TMD,” for “temporomandibular joint disorder,” is another way to refer to problems with the jaw.

It is really no surprise that serious problems can develop with this joint, as it is in use all of the time. You may develop headaches, pain or a stuffy feeling in the ears, pain around the ear, tenderness in the jaw, and even muscle aches in the shoulders and neck. You might hear a clicking or popping noise when you open and close your mouth, and sometimes it may feel like your jaw “locks up.”

Here are some other things you should know about TMJ:

• Eating chewy foods, such as bagels, can trigger your TMJ pain. Avoid chewy and hard foods, but also avoid chewing on nonfood items such as pen caps and pencils.

• Don’t use your teeth as tools, such as for opening packages.

• Bad posture can make TMJ pain worse.

• TMJ can be caused by genetics, a connective tissue disease, or an injury to the jaw. It can also be the result of years of grinding your teeth. You may have TMJ if you are missing a tooth, as this causes your teeth to move out of place and your top and bottom teeth to become misaligned.

• Stress can aggravate your TMJ. Eliminating stress may be impossible, but you can try to find ways to reduce it.

• An over-the-counter pain reliever, a heating pad, and massaging the jaw joint can help relieve the pain.

If you think you might have TMJ, talk to your dentist right away. Call Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center today, at (610) 272-6949!

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