Tag Archives: teeth grinding

Is there a correlatoin between TMJ and numb fingers?

Lately, I have had this numbing, tingling feeling in my fingers and I was wondering if it could be related to my TMJ disorder? I am very familiar with all the other symptoms of bruxism and grinding and how they affect my TMJ, like pain in my jaw and face, ringing in my ears, and stiffness in the jaw joint. But this numbing pins and needles feeling is new. It only happens with my left hand and I was wondering if there is a correlation here?

– Loretta in Missouri

Loretta,

TMJ symptoms are wide-ranging and TMJ disorder manifests differently for everyone. But to answer your question, yes, the numb feeling you have described can be connected with TMJ disorder. Typically it is not as common of a TMJ symptom, having been reported in about 50 percent of TMJ patients.

Here is what is happening in regard to the numbness. When your bite is misaligned, muscle spasms may occur. And since all of your muscles are inter-connected, when your jaw is misaligned it is quite possible to see problems down in your extremities. This is because the muscle spasms that you experience causing the tightness in your jaw, face, and neck area can influence the connecting nerves that travel into your arms. When these nerves are bothered, periodic numbness or tingling can be a result. That said, the numbness may not always occur as a result of TMJ pain. It can happen spontaneously.

It is important that you report any new or different TMJ problems to your TMJ specialist or the dentist that is treating you. Open communication will enable the best TMJ treatment to meet your specific needs.

Thank you for your question!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can’t take this pain. Is it TMJ?

I simply cannot take this pain any longer. It’s my face, ears, and jaw that are absolutely killing me. I haven’t officially been diagnosed with TMJ but from all the research I’ve done, that has to be what is going on. Can you tell me a little more about TMJ?

– Betsy in Missouri

Betsy,

Facial pain, pain in the jaw joint or area, ringing in the ears or earaches are all symptoms of TMJ disorder. The temporalmandibuar joint (TMJ) is the small joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull and helps you to talk and chew normally. This joint is used when you eat and yawn, really any movement of your jaw. TMJ disorder can affect the muscles and tendons that surround your jaw as well. Pain or sensitivity and soreness, as well as locking are all signs of TMJ.

It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of TMJ, but stress can be a major contributing factor. Other factors that can cause TMJ are an injury or trauma to the face, grinding of the teeth or clenching, and some arthritis patients have found it is a cause of TMJ. As mentioned previously, stress can make you clench or grind your teeth and tighten your facial muscles which can lead to TMJ problems.

A proper diagnosis is key when trying to find TMJ treatment. TMJ dentists and specialists use varying techniques that range from medications or a simple mouth piece, to more advanced neuromuscular therapy, and in some extreme cases surgery.

You don’t want to be in pain anymore, so don’t put it off any longer. Find a TMJ specialist in your area.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Teeth grinding and perscriptions

Is a common side effect of prescription drugs teeth grinding?

– Beth in Tennessee

Beth,

Teeth grinding and clenching isn’t an exact science. To be honest, no one really knows the exact cause. There has been a lot of research that indicates stress, anger, and anxiety can play a role in grinding. There have also been many studies that link certain medications to teeth grinding. For example, Sinement CR Oral, Atapryl, Carbex, and Selegiline are used to treat Parkinsons Disease and they can cause grinding. Prolintane is another drug used for Dementia patients. It contains some anti-depressant formulas that can cause individuals to clench or grind. Illegal drugs like Ecstasy contain the stimulants like amphetamines which can cause grinding. If you are using these kinds of medications or drugs, your dentist will be able to examine your teeth to see signs of wear.

A common TMJ treatment from a dentist is a night guard. This will help to protect your teeth and gums. And it will also alleviate the pain and pressure to your TMJ joint and the surrounding muscles.

Sometimes people don’t realize that they care clenching or grinding because it happens at night while they are asleep. Jaw pain, chipped or cracked teeth, worn down edges of teeth, receding gums, headaches, and ear aches are all signs of grinding. TMJ disorder can also result from ongoing grinding and clenching.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA Cosmetic Dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

I think I have lock jaw.

Hi,

I have been told that I have TMD. I am 17 and have dealt with lock jaw for over three years now. It usually just clicks, but the other day it was really bothering me. So I decided to use an old sports mouth piece I had to avoid clenching. When I removed it, my jaw locked. When I went into the dentist, they said they wanted to do an impression so a splint could be made. It should be a few more days but then I should have the splint. I just don’t know if I can take it any longer. My articular disc is out of place and has been locked up for a couple days now. I have been taking anti-inflammatory drugs and wearing that mouth guard to help.

Is there anything else that can be done to keep my jaw from being locked? Do you know any tricks to unlock it?

– Leslie in North Carolina

Leslie,

Individuals that suffer from lock jaw have a condyle that doesn’t return to the proper position. The condyle is the head of the lower jaw and the disc that separates the skull from the condyle is the articular disc. This sounds like what is troubling you and causing your temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Sometimes this painful condition can last up to two weeks. And the most common TMJ treatment is anti-inflammatory drugs and in some cases muscle relaxers. Individuals with TMJ / TMD may do better eating soft foods if their jaw gets locked up. Heat and ice may help periodically, as well to reduce the inflammation.

The splint is a TMJ treatment that will reposition the condyle into a better position in correlation with the disc. You may notice some popping and clicking on occasion but hopefully your symptoms are noticeably improved. When the splint treatment doesn’t work, you may need to consider seeing a TMJ dentist or TMJ specialist that can explore your options. Sometimes surgery is recommended to reposition the disc for the best long-term function. There is much training that is required beyond dental school to treat this condition well, so be sure to make sure your dentist has TMJ credentials and proven treatment success.

Here are some tips to avoid increased aggravation of the TMJ and the muscles around it.

  • Relaxation exercises (yoga or meditation) work well for some.
  • Avoid gum.
  • Soft foods will help and stay away from chewy/sticky food.
  • Try not to open your mouth all the way when yawning if possible.
  • When you are awake, do not grind or clench.
  • At night, be sure to wear your splint. This is when most grinding and clenching take place. But don’t use the splint as a long-term solution because issues with bite alignment may become apparent.
  • Orthodontics may correct the alignment of teeth if this is a cause for the TMJ dysfunction.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

My porcelain veneer is broken from grinding.

I have dealt with grinding my teeth for a long time. I’ve seen a TMJ dentist that had me get a night guard. This TMJ treatment has helped a lot.

Well, several months ago, I decided I wanted to improve the look of my smile. So I went ahead and got porcelain veneers done. One night I didn’t wear my night guard and I woke up to a broken veneer. I guess it cracked while I was asleep. Do you think the dentist will replace it for me without charging me?

– Lidia in Florida

Lidia,

As far as getting the porcelain veneer replaced, it is truly up to the dentist. Since the grinding is something that you have dealt with for years, there is no obligation that the dentist must replace the veneer, from a legal perspective. But there are many cosmetic dentists or TMJ specialists that also do cosmetic dentistry that may sympathize with you. Hopefully your dentist is one of these, since it has only been a few months.

There is always a possibility that you will only pay the lab fee, as long as you agree to continue wearing your night guard. That said, it all depends on the directions your dentist gave you when the veneers were placed. If you were already warned about the cautions of forgetting to wear the night guard for your TMJ treatment, they may not feel too bad about the situation. Then again, if there was no warning about the mouth guard given, than you may be able to make a stronger case for yourself.

It also isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that the porcelain veneer that broke can be repaired. A good cosmetic dentist may be able to use dental bonding to reapply the veneer. This all depends on how and where the veneer broke and if it was a clean break. It is also extremely important to see a cosmetic dentist that has an expert skill level.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist.

I’m getting an anterior repositioning splint.

My dentist has recommended an anterior repositioning splint for my jaw. I’m not quite sure exactly what it is. Can you tell me if it is comfortable, what it’s made out of, and what  it is used to treat?

– Richard in Louisiana

Richard,

The anterior repositioning splint is used to correct TMJ disorder or related TMJ problems. It repositions the condyles which are part of the temporomandibular joint. The condyles sit at the hinge of the jaw. The appliance is made of acrylic. Your dentist is recommending this treatment to return the jaw into a more natural position to reduce any locking or clicking that you may experience. Over time this treatment will improve the relationship between the condyle and the disc in your TMJ. This appliance removes any interference and should improve your TMJ symptoms.

The anterior repositioning splint is usually worn for at least three months. The appliance itself is only a few millimeters thick. When your joint has repositioned properly, you will no longer need to wear it. Patients that see the best results are those that suffer from jaw clicking or reoccurring jaw locking, as well as inflammation in the TMJ. Another issue that the splint helps relieve is grinding or clenching. This TMJ treatment will help enable the muscles and ligaments in the TMJ to relax. It is important to mention that it can change your bite over time, so it should only be worn as instructed by your dentist. Don’t wear it any longer than is recommended.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.