Did you know that about 8 to 10 percent of adults have a secret malady called sleep bruxism? This Chronic tooth grinding (bruxism) is defined as a sleep disorder characterized by the grinding or clenching of the teeth. It has also been discovered that without proper treatment, bruxism can cause Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
At Mergen Orthodontics, we are dedicated to providing patients exceptional service and advanced clear options that consistently exceed their expectations. Hence, if you are suffering from bruxism or TMJ, below you will find everything you need to know.
Sleep Bruxism and its Consequences
No matter what science eventually discovers as the cause of sleep bruxism, current medical literature points out that stress, smoking, alcohol, and caffeine are the main triggers of this disorder.
Consequently, under normal circumstances, a person's teeth make contact for about 20 minutes a day with only 20 to 40 pounds of pressure to be able to chew. During sleep bruxism, however, the upper and lower teeth come into direct contact in as much as 40 minutes per hour, forcing around 250 pounds on the first molar. This sleeping habit may lead to excessive pressure, causing your jaw muscles and joints to become irritated and inflamed.
Symptoms of TMJ
As your jaw joints become more inflamed and irritated, you may develop a variety of symptoms such as; persistent jaw pain and chronic headaches. You could also experience clicking or "popping" noises when you chew, as well as muscle spasms, facial or neck pain, and hearing difficulties such as ringing sensations or "stuffiness" in your ears.
The Right Treatment for TMJ
When treating a temporomandibular joint disorder, Mergen Orthodontics will focus on finding ways to realign and re-balance your teeth and bite to reduce uneven strain on the jaw joints. The proper orthodontic diagnosis and treatment can provide a stable bite relationship that reduces, and many times eliminates the TMJ symptoms. Correcting the underlying problem is the key to stopping the symptoms, providing long-term relief, and allowing you to get rid of nightguards and medications.
You’re in Good Hands with Mergen Orthodontics
Now with two locations (Iowa City and Coralville), Mergen Orthodontics team members go above and beyond to ensure that patients have a relaxing and enjoyable visit every time they walk through the doors. At Mergen Orthodontics, we understand that many orthodontic treatments may require lifestyle changes, and we are here to help guide you through your treatment. Your time and comfort are our priority!