What is Bruxism?
Bruxism – a habit of grinding your teeth – is common among American adults. You may be grinding your teeth unknowingly, or while asleep at night. If you have been advised surgery is needed, consider other options. Most of the time non-surgical jaw alignment is a viable option.
As an experienced neuromuscular dentist and physiologic dentist, Dr. Ronald Konig can determine the cause of your bruxism. He can recommend the most effective way to put a stop to it and to restore the appearance and function of your bite and smile if it is needed.
Our office treats many different people suffering from the effects of bruxism. One of the most common causes of bruxism is a misaligned temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is where the lower jaw connects to the skull; it allows you to move your jaw in all directions and provides you with the ability to speak and chew properly. A misaligned TMJ leads to a host of problems, including a tendency to grind your teeth as well as some of the following symptoms?
The strain of grinding your teeth often causes pain and symptoms elsewhere:
Your body wants your TMJ to rest as comfortably as possible, and when you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, your body will work unconsciously to try to put the joint in its most relaxed position. Unfortunately, when your body attempts to put your TMJ into the most comfortable position possible, you may begin grinding your teeth.
Potential Tooth Damage from Bruxism
Bruxism is one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Grinding can cause many different dental problems, such as:
- Broken and worn teeth
- Missing teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Misaligned bite
- Overclosed bites
- TMJ pain
- Facial Asymmetry
Once Dr. Konig has treated the source of your bruxism, he can then begin to restore the aesthetics of your smile with cosmetic dentistry or to restore healthy function..
Relief from Teeth Grinding
Depending on the exact cause and nature of your bruxism, treatment will most likely take one of the forms below:
Bite Correction and Misaligned Bites: Bruxism resulting from a disorder of the TMJ can indicate the need for neuromuscular dentistry treatment. During your consultation, Dr. Konig can explain how he will design your treatment to ensure proper alignment and function of the TMJs to eliminate neuromuscular tension and strain. Dr. Konig explains there are two phases to this type of treatment. The first to find the correct physiologic bite position for comfort, stability, and muscular balance. This is not done by lying the chair back and taking the bite. Rather computerized instrumentation with EMG’s and jaw tracking is utilized. Additionally, Dr. Konig emphasizes that the neck must be addressed as well. A test drive bite is utilized and adjusted with advanced biometric and computerized bite adjustments. Once patient feels stabile and muscles and joints are stabile, then phase II, long term stabilization can be considered. There are several options for phase II. Ranging from extensions with porcelain very conservatively to Controlled Arch Orthodontics. Simply wearing a removable appliance or equilibration will not help in these cases.
Custom nighttime mouth guard. If you grind your teeth at night while you sleep, a tailor-made mouth guard will prevent you from doing so by holding your teeth in the desired position. This can be indicated if the strain has not already damaged your teeth and the joints are still in alignment. This treatment will not help those with damaged joints and usually for those with muscular issues only and not when the joints are displaced, popping, or damaged.
A comprehensive analysis to assess what your individual situation is allows Dr. Konig to discuss various options for your needs.
If you have bruxism and if you are looking for a way to stop this involuntary habit, please call the dentistry office of Dr. Ronald Konig, DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIAPA, at 713-668-2289 . We will arrange a consultation for you to discuss your dental wellness with Dr. Konig in Houston, Texas.