In our previous post, you saw a video of Dr. Mark W. Wilhelm describing the possible consequences of teeth grinding.
For many people, teeth grinding can lead to TMJ disorders. The symptoms of these TMJ problems can include jaw pain in the morning, during meals, and during times of stress. You may have frequent headaches and earaches as well as face, neck, and upper back pain.
You also may experience problems with jaw mobility or the range of movement in your jaw.
We want you to know that our dentist office in Woodbury, MN, has helped many patients will similar problems. We will do everything in our power to help you, too.
Today, we want to discuss why teeth grinding can lead to TMJ disorders and some of the tools we can use to help assess your condition.
Under Pressure … By Teeth Grinding
You may have heard the song “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie. The song begins with Bowie singing “Pressure pushing down on me, pressing down on you.”
This is what you are doing if you clench and grind your teeth together. One of the problems with teeth grinding is many people do it without realizing it.
This can be a subconscious response to stress or something you do unconsciously while you are asleep. Either way, the effect is the same. You are putting added pressure on your teeth and that can affect your jaw as well as muscles and other tissues around it.
How much pressure? Well, a typical human bite generally falls between 200 and 250 pounds of pressure. In studies, people who grind their teeth regularly have been measured at 500 pounds of pressure and much higher in some cases.
Even using the 500-pound figure, that’s double the normal pressure people create. That’s a lot of added strain on your teeth (which can cause them to become worn down). It also can explain why people who grind their teeth in their sleep often complain of jaw pain, headaches, and earaches in the morning.
If you have been a regular reader of our blog, then you know Dr. Wilhelm can help you stop grinding your teeth. This also could alleviate your TMJ disorder and its symptoms.
Call 651-319-9064 if you would like to learn more about our treatment options.
Measuring Your Force
Unfortunately, headaches can have multiple causes. Before we begin treatment for TMJ or teeth grinding, we will examine your teeth and jaw.
If we see signs that suggest teeth grinding is an issue, we have several tools to evaluate the severity of your problem. One of those tools is our T-Scan™.
The T-Scan is a computerized tool for measuring your bite for possible imbalances in the pressure you a putting on your teeth.
With the T-Scan sensor, we can measure where your bite is putting added pressure on your teeth. Just as important, the T-Scan’s readings can be turned into a visual model so you can see where your strongest points of contact are.
This could help us determine what treatment or treatments may be effective for you. In some cases, tooth reshaping could be sufficient to address the problem. In other cases, new dental crowns and a special mouthguard to wear while you sleep may be more appropriate.
And throughout your care, we can use the T-Scan to monitor changes in your bite so we can address imbalances early.
Laser Therapy For TMJ Disorders
Part of your treatment could involve lasers. We are excited to be able to offer this advanced treatment at our dentist office in Woodbury, MN.
Even if it’s not as exciting as a space battle in a science fiction movie. We can assure you that it’s quite meaningful to the patients who undergo MLS Laser Therapy. MLS stands for Multiwave Locked System.
We use laser therapy treat sore and painful muscles. This works by helping your muscles relax.
Ease The Pain Of A TMJ Disorder
Teeth grinding can damage your teeth, and it can lead to long-term TMJ problems as well. Dr. Wilhelm wants to stop your teeth grinding and end your pain.
At our dentist office in Woodbury, MN, you can receive some of the most complete and advanced TMJ treatments available. To learn more or to make an appointment, call 651-319-9064 or contact us online.