TMJ and Bruxism Therapy

hand pointing to jaw of skull at Keith A. Boenning, DDS, Towson, MDYour mouth has several working parts that enable it to perform some different, essential, tasks every single day. The temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, are responsible for the movements of your mouth. You have two of these joints, one on each side of your face where the lower jaw connects to the skull. The TMJ are ball and socket joints, each with a disc in the middle. The discs work to absorb the impact of the pressures exerted by your jaw. When these joints are healthy, you can bite, chew, speak, and perform other tasks with ease. You probably spend no time thinking about your TMJ. When the joints become irritated, however, you may be faced with extreme pain and complications performing basic tasks. Issues with your TMJ can be caused by several different issues, including bruxism. Keith A. Boenning, DDS is here to help.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder is a term that describes some different issues that affect the health and comfort of your temporomandibular joints. These issues irritate the joints, which then leads to inflammation. They can lead to severe pain and interfere with the most basic movements of your mouth. There are several different issues that can lead to TMJ disorder, including bruxism.


Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. This condition can be caused by some different issues, including stress, certain medications, and alignment issues. The forces exerted on your teeth, and your jaw can lead to tooth wear, tooth damage, severe jaw pain, and TMJ disorder.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder and Bruxism

There are several symptoms associated with TMJ disorder and bruxism. These symptoms include:
•  Severe pain in your jaw and temporomandibular joints. This pain is often most noticeable first thing in the morning.
•  Excessive or uneven wear on the enamel of your teeth.
•  Difficulty, and pain, biting, chewing, speaking, or otherwise moving your mouth.
•  Lockjaw, a condition in which your jaw temporarily locks open or shut, and it cannot be moved.
•  A clicking, popping, or grinding sensation.
•  Chronic headaches or earaches.

Diagnosing the Cause of Your Pain

Before receiving treatment, we first need to diagnose the cause of your discomfort. This is done through a thorough oral examination. We look over your teeth, assessing alignment and wear patterns, and take X-rays. X-rays, and other imaging allow us to see below your gum line to determine the presence of any hidden issues. Once we have diagnosed TMJ disorder or bruxism, we can then begin treatment.

TMJ and Bruxism Therapy

One of the most common treatments for TMJ disorder and bruxism is a night guard. A night guard is a custom created oral appliance that resembles a sports mouth guard. It is worn over your top teeth while you sleep and protects your teeth and jaws by cushioning the impact that your teeth exert when you grind and clench. By absorbing the impact, the pressure on your jaw and temporomandibular joints is alleviated, which aids in alleviating pain and other effects. Other treatments for TMJ disorder and bruxism include Botox injections, orthodontic treatment, and oral surgery.

If your TMJ is causing you pain and are interfering with your daily life, getting the right treatment can help. For more information on TMJ and bruxism therapy, and to schedule your appointment, call Keith A. Boenning, DDS today at (410) 828-1717.
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