Bruxism & TMJ Treatment in Valparaiso
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More on Bruxism
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from tooth grinding or jaw clenching in the late hours of the night (sleep bruxism) and or during the day you may have a condition called dental bruxism. Dental bruxism refers to the oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most people at some point in their lives. Grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw are the two main characteristics of this condition. Bruxism affects nearly 25 million Americans who may not even know they have it.
Bruxism is one of the most common know sleep disorders and can cause most of its damage during sleeping hours. Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth (brux) during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).
Typically, the incisors and canines (front 6 upper and lower teeth) of the opposing arches grind against each other in a lateral movement. This side to side action puts undue strain on the medial pterygoid muscles and the temporomandibular joints.
Bruxism is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all since it is only one of several potential causes of tooth wear. Only a trained professional such as Dr. Drone can tell the difference between bruxing wear or wear caused by overly aggressive brushing, wear from acidic intake, abrasive foods, and acid reflux.
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Dr. Drone is a native of Wheatfield, IN and has been practicing dentistry since 2003 and opened his private practice in Valparaiso, IN in 2007. Dr. Drone earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Indiana University School of Dentistry and earned his advanced specialty degrees in Prosthodontics and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics from Indiana University School of Dentistry and Medicine.
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Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may wake when sleeping that may wake your partner
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Fatigued or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that will not open or close completely
- Jaw, neck or face pain or tenderness
- Ear pain but not actually an ear infection
- Cheek sensitivity or damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Headaches that start in the temples and can ultimately leave you feeling irritable
- Sleep disruption
Reasons for Treatment
- Gum recession and tooth loss: Bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss. It can damage the soft and can lead to tooth loss and pocketing around the teeth where bacteria can colonize and destroy the supporting bone.
- Occlusal trauma: The abnormal wear patters caused from bruxism can lead to fractures in the teeth, which may require restorative treatment.
- Worn Teeth: Bruxism can cause significant pressure on teeth. The grinding and pressure associated with bruxism results in tooth wear. Signs of tooth wear are shortened teeth, fractured teeth, chipped teeth, sharp or roughened edges on teeth, tooth pain and tooth sensitivity.
- Arthritis: In severe and chronic cases, bruxing can lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular joints. This joint allows the jaw to open and close smoothly.
- Myofascial pain: The grinding associated with bruxism can shorten and blunt the teeth and lead to debilitating headaches and muscle pain the myofascial region.
- Mouthguards / Splints: An acrylic device can be designed from a digital impression to minimize the forces that are exerted during bruxism. The splint is worn during your sleeping hours to prevent damage to your teeth, jaw muscles, and temporomandibular joint.
- Specialized therapy: Dr. Drone works with a team of TMJ specialists and may refer you for advanced cases of TMJ symptoms.
- Restorative: Many patients with teeth wear or have bruxism require restorations such as dental crowns, cosmetic bonding, and full-mouth rehabilitation. In some severe cases orthodontics (braces) is needed to align your bite.
We work with a dedicated team of professionals to make sure that your experience is the absolute best it can be. From our friendly front office staff, the assistants who work closely with Dr. Drone, our hygiene staff that helps our patients walk away with beautifully clean teeth and easy-to-understand dental knowledge, to the other specialists we are honored to work with; our knowledgeable dental staff will care for you every step of the way.
Exemplary Patient Outcomes
We understand the importance of having a healthy, comfortable bite. We are able to provide each patient with excellent quality restorative dental solutions. An in-office consultation will allow us to diagnose and determine how your unique needs can best be met through our restorative dental options.