166 Furman Road, Suite A, Boone, NC 28607

828-355-5673

TMJ Treatment / Teeth Grinding

The Secret To Ending Jaw Pain & Headaches In Boone, NC

People have heard the word TMJ, basically their face hurts or they’re having headaches. The number one cause is — I ask people when they come in and we’re doing our initial exam basically have you ever gone to bed without a headache and woke up with a headache? When you do this, this is basically you’re clenching or grinding your teeth. When we go to sleep, we’re supposed to be restful, and when we wake up, we’re restored. Waking up with a headache is not being restored. That’s pretty much a tip off that you’re doing something with your teeth.
Two, TMJ is a multifactorial problem. You have genetics; you can’t pick your parents. You have how your teeth come together, which is called your occlusion, and then you have your outside environment, what you’re doing at that time. Basically after their exam we check their jaw joints, their jaw muscles, and how their teeth come together.

The next step is if they would like treatment, basically we see to what extent this TMJ and what is causing it, then we can make them take study models and take a bite registration and a face [sic] to see exactly how their bite is working. We do a consult, and we show them. If you’re hitting on one side of your mouth, and you’re hitting and sliding pulling the jaw joints out of position, what we try to do, we try to be in harmony. Our body wants to be balanced.

When we grind our teeth, a lot of times we’re trying to find a comfortable place, and we’re actually pulling the jaw joints out of position so our jaw joints and our jaw muscles have to brace the rest of where our teeth are. We chew in an abnormal way because a lot of times we have prematurities or high spots that we’re trying to miss while we’re chewing, so we crank our teeth forward to try to get out of the way of that. By doing that, your muscles are working and your jaw joints are working overtime, and this causes the headaches and the soreness.

We make you a bite splint after we’ve taken your models, usually a lower bite guard, and we adjust it so until we get rid of 90% of your symptoms in your muscles and your jaw joint. We use sometimes medications, whether it’s ibuprofen, or we’ll use a muscle relaxant in the beginning so we get it balanced. Once those symptoms go away and we don’t have to balance that bite guard anymore, then we take new models of your mouth, and then we see how your bite is, and then we’ll sit down and have a consult on how we should restore your bite.

It can be all the way from just balancing your bite, which is getting rid of the prematurities, but basically we want CR to make equal CO which means that your jaw joint, your jaw muscles, and jaw teeth are working in harmony and not disharmony.

Pain is a very annoying way to discover that something has gone wrong. If your feet hurt, your body could be telling you that your shoes don’t fit, or that you really need to sit down for a while. So when there’s pain in your mouth, Appalachian Dental Care is here for you. Dr. Airey can repair cavities with tooth-colored fillings, remove infections with root canal therapy, and more.  But what if the pain isn’t necessarily in the teeth? What if your jaw is hurting? Or what about headaches and migraines? Believe it or not, our dental office in Boone, NC can help with those, too. Call our Boone, NC dental office at 828-355-5673 stop your pain and discomfort with our TMJ and Teeth Grinding Treatment Boone, NC area.

What Is The Difference Between TMJ and TMD?

Your lower jaw is held in place by your jaw joint. The technical name for this joint is the temporomandibular joint, but because that’s a mouthful, people often use TMJ for short. Whenever you open and close your mouth to talk, drink, eat, or even just to yawn, you’re using your TMJ. Some people start to get pain in their TMJ, others just a popping and clicking sound when they move the jaw. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you could have a problem called temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.

If TMD is left untreated, things can get worse. Any stiffness you feel in the joint can grow worse and lead to lockjaw, where it’s really hard or even impossible to open or close your mouth. The pain in your jaw can move to your neck, shoulders, and even your head to cause migraines.

Thankfully, there is a solution. At our Boone, NC dental office, we can create special mouthguards for you to wear at night. These fit comfortably over your teeth but shift your jaw just enough to take some pressure off your TMJ. This gives the joint time to heal, helping relieve TMD symptoms.

Why Do I Need To Worry About Grinding My Teeth?

Your teeth repeatedly mash together whenever you eat. That’s fine, because your enamel is tough, and your teeth are supposed to do that. But if you are grinding your teeth without realizing it, this is a condition called bruxism that can cause damage to your teeth. People with bruxism grind their teeth so much, especially during their sleep, that the enamel starts to get worn down. This can lead to heat/cold sensitivity and increase your risk for tooth decay.

Dentists aren’t always sure what causes bruxism, but they are sure how to treat it. As with TMD, you can wear a custom-made mouthguard at night when you sleep. This way, even if you start grinding your teeth, they are protected by that mouthguard.

How Can A Dentist Help With My Migraines?

TMD and bruxism put a lot of pressure on your jaw and its muscles. This pressure can lead to headaches and even migraines. Even if the pressure isn’t specifically a problem, there are certain nerves around your jaw that, when triggered, can cause migraines. To help prevent this from becoming a problem, Dr. Airey can create a mouthguard called a splint that prevents those nerves from causing migraines.

To learn more about our treatments for TMD and bruxism, or to schedule your next appointment, give us a call today at 828-355-5673 or use our online form.

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