Teeth Grinding and Jaw Pain Treatment in Lafayette
What is TMJ/TMD?
The tempromandibular joints (TMJs) lay on either side of your face, just in front of your ears, where the lower jaw connects to the skull. These joints are controlled by an intricate system of muscles and contain a disc of pliable cartilage that allow for the smooth opening, closing, and gliding motions performed by the mouth. Anything from accidental trauma to stress and teeth grinding can lead to a tempormandibular disorder (TMD). TMD can have a wide range of symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Jaw, neck, face, or back pain
- Chronic headaches
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism describes the unconscious act of clenching and grinding the teeth that usually affects sufferers while they sleep. Most often triggered by stress, anxiety, anger, and even allergies, bruxism can cause significant damage and enamel erosion to the teeth that typically grind together. Many bruxers (people with bruxism) deal with sore jaws and headaches but are completely unaware of the cause of their problem. When you come in for a routine checkup and cleaning, Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri can identify the characteristic patterns of enamel wear that point to nighttime teeth grinding.
Treatment Options for TMJ and Bruxism
To treat bruxism, Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri DDS will generally recommend patients wear an occlusal splint, a mouthpiece that protects the teeth at night. She may also recommend lifestyle modifications, such as decreased caffeine consumption and relaxation techniques. Treating TMJ depends on a number of factors, including the cause of the disorder and its primary symptoms. Treatment options include customized mouthpieces, neuromuscular therapy, and even Botox injections which can reduce inflammation and the overstimulation of nerves within the muscles surrounding the TMJs.
Visit Your Lafayette Family Dentist
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri DDS, call our office at 337-704-2126. Our Lafayette dentist’s office proudly provides children's, restorative , and cosmetic dentistry services to families and individuals in Lafayette, LA, the Acadiana region.
Education is key
Education is a lifelong journey and a truly dedicated family dentist never stops learning. To this end, Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri DDS obtains 75-80 hours of continuing education every year, twice the state’s requirement. In addition, Dr. Maestri and her team focus on educating our patients through hands-on techniques and the open sharing of information. Well-informed patients tend to make better decisions when it comes to at-home dental hygiene and lifestyle choices that impact oral health. If you have any questions about family dentistry or feel that you need some professional guidance, please feel free to ask.