So, teeth grinding or teeth clenching is something that a lot of the population does. And we have seen that it has been very prevalent in just, populations.
There's a difference between clenching and grinding. A grinder grinds their teeth flat. A clencher usually develops little cracks in their teeth because at night they do this. And they don't even know they are doing it. And I would say that 80% of people that do this have no idea that they do it.
Some of the symptoms to look for is headaches, neck pain, especially in the back of the neck, sometimes jaw tightness, sometimes clicking and popping of the jaw. And sometimes people that get migraines or have been in car accidents and have a lot of neck pain related to that, this clenching and grinding can make that worse because it creates inflammation.
So the way we treat this condition is we use what we call night splints. They are like little night guards. And the ones that we use are very minimally invasive, so they are more comfortable.
Our whole goal is not just to keep your teeth from coming together, but we want to line up your jaw in a certain position at night. That actually stimulates the brain to ease up on that activity. So we are trying to train your brain and your muscles.
This is a neuromuscular situation. It doesn't come from your teeth. We have to treat that in a way that will take all those kind of components into account. And that's why we use a little night splint. Usually, it fits on your front teeth, most of them. Sometimes we have to do a full arch where we cover all of the teeth.
But it just depends on what you are doing, clenching or grinding. Sometimes clenching your teeth or grinding your teeth is an indication of another condition, a more systematic condition, called sleep apnea.
Some people at night, when they struggle to breathe, they are trying to open up their airway at night. They are moving their jaw forward like this and they grind their teeth.
So sometimes, if that's not detected, and you use a traditional night guard appliance, it can actually make the situation worse. So it's important to have a complete conversation with your dentist and to be able to have your dentist look and make sure that they understand what is happening.
And sometimes we work with your physicians, your general practitioners, to get you tested for sleep apnea. There's ways that we can screen for that medical condition and we work with your physician to actually get diagnosed and to be treated.
Get relief from jaw pain with a TMJ or teeth grinding treatment from Alluring Smiles! At our Mesa, AZ dentist office, Dr. Javier Portocarrero and our professional team provide custom solutions so you can restore the comfortable function of your jaw!
A Healthier Jaw, A Happier You
Jaw disorders can have broad effects on your quality of life. But with our custom solutions, we can potentially:
- Relieve pain in your jaw, neck, face, and shoulders
- Prevent your jaw from getting “stuck” or locking in place
- Allow you to open your mouth wide in comfort again
- Alleviate swelling along your jaw
- Ensure your upper and lower jaw fit together properly
- Vanquish your frequent headaches or migraines
By solving the problems with your jaw, you can fix a whole host of problems that you didn’t even realize were related!
Custom Treatment For Your Jaw Problems
Because every situation is unique, we offer custom solutions for TMJ disorder, teeth grinding, migraines, and headaches. We’ll thoroughly assess your case to provide the best treatment for your problem!
To relieve the immediate pain you are feeling, we will provide state-of-the-art dental laser therapy. Then, we will take precise impressions of the inside of your mouth to have a custom oral appliance made. This mouthguard-like appliance will prevent teeth grinding and other causes of tension in your jaw, allowing your jaw joint to rest and heal.
Choose From Many Comfort Options
To make your visit to our Mesa, AZ dentist office as pleasant as possible, we provide a comfort menu of amenities for you to choose from, including:
- Aromatherapy options
- Massage chairs in every care room
- Blankets and pillows
We’ll do everything we can to help you relax!