Nightguards, TMJ Disorders, and TMJ Treatment

Bruxism is a term that describes the abnormal activity
of teeth clenching and grinding. Bruxism is a neuromuscular activity controlled by our subconsciousness. It has been shown to be linked to a number of medical conditions, but also notably, to stress and anxiety.

When the stress level increases, bruxism increases as well. The tremendous amount of forces generated by this parafunctional activity can cause severe wear on the teeth leading to irreversibly worn-out enamel, dentine exposure, increased teeth sensitivities, increased risks for teeth fractures, cavities, and teeth loss. It can also cause damage to the jaw joint resulting, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The symptoms of TMD may include: TM joint pain, facial/jaw muscle pain, lock-jaws, limited range of jaw movements, migraines, headaches, earaches, ringing in the ear, sinus pain etc.

Stress induced bruxism can be alleviated, conspicuously by stress reduction such as exercise, Yoga, meditation etc. But of course, this is always easier said than done as the results may not be immediate and vary significantly. Since the parafuntional activity of bruxism can be day-time or during sleep, with the latter generating more forces and being more damaging, therefore a custom made dental splint, commonly known as a nightguard may help to reduce the damage. There are a number of designs of nightguard available for different individuals/situations. Please consult your dentist regarding the appropriate type for you, if you think you may need one.

As please some of the damages to our health may not be reversible. So it is always important to take care of it, before a small issue becomes a large complicated problem.