Exparza Family Dentistry blog
(757) 499-4707 762 Independence Blvd. #794
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Treating TMJ & Bruxism Dysfunction

Woman in pain holding her cheekDo you struggle with regular headaches or earaches? Do you frequently experience pain in your neck, back, or shoulders? These are all symptoms associated with two common neuromuscular conditions: bruxism and TMJ dysfunction. Both conditions are serious and have a dramatic impact on your health and wellbeing if they aren’t effectively addressed.

What Is Bruxism?

Patients with bruxism struggle with regular teeth grinding, most often while they're asleep, and if left untreated, results in damage to the muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. Routine grinding and clenching also damages the chewing surfaces of teeth, in addition to paving the way for TMJ dysfunction. 

What Is TMJ Dysfunction?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints. We each have two of these little joints, which are located in front of our ears. They exist to help us open and close our mouths easily. But stress or an improper bite cause them to malfunction. When this happens, the nerve endings become exposed and a range of symptoms manifest. These symptoms include jaw clicking, headaches, earaches, and pain in the neck, back, or shoulders.

How Are Bruxism and TMJ Dysfunction Treated?

Both bruxism and TMJ dysfunction are treated with custom-made oral appliances. In the case of bruxism, patients wear an appliance called a nightguard. Nightguards are designed to protect the chewing surfaces of teeth and lessen the severity of symptoms. In the case of TMJ dysfunction, on the other hand, an oral appliance alleviates painful symptoms by correcting the patient's bite.

Schedule Your Consultation

Are you wondering whether oral appliance therapy is right for you? Virginia Beach dentist, Dr. Sarah Esparza, would be happy to help you answer that question during a consultation. Call us today to reserve your appointment. We look forward to helping you with your neuromuscular dentistry needs.

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