Bruxism and TMJ Treatment Options From Billings, MT Dentist – Dr. Stuart
A lot of people unknowingly, I'd probably say 75 to 80 percent of the population, clench and grind their teeth subconsciously to a greater or lesser degree. It not only promotes much more wear and tear on the teeth, but it promotes a lot of wear and tear on the joints, the bones, the muscles, the tendons, and can also create a lot of pain.
In the dental world, we use orthotic occlusal splints. They're designed to put a thickness of hard plastic, really is what it is, between your teeth so that you can't really clench down and bear down and do damage to the teeth and the jaw and the structures. Plus, it puts a little passive stretch on these muscles to help things calm down.
I developed a protocol that has worked awesomely because there's some people that it just didn't work really well for. You got mixed results. I started to notice that if you've got tempromandibular joint problems, you almost always have also problems with the cervical spine, and that the body compensates. If you've got pain here, you're going to start to see the body compensate by having that right shoulder come up and then, because that right shoulder drifts up, or the left shoulder drifts up, then the right hip also compensates all down the spine, and that's it's very rarely just a problem in the joint.
I developed a protocol where I would develop a splint for somebody, we would adjust it, we'd send them to their, a good chiropractor or a good physical therapist that I had previously spoken to to tell them what we were trying to achieve, and they would adjust everything in the spine and the neck and everything. After that adjustment with the chiropractor, they would come to my office immediately after that so that I could see the splint and adjust it and dial it in. We would do that sequence two or three times. By the time we got though that sequence, back and forth two or three times between them and me, they were pain-free, comfortable, and we just got amazing results. It was incredible. It's been one of those things that just thinking outside of the box a little bit and looking at the overall broad picture of what's going on with someone's health has paid off.
At Legacy Smiles, we work hard to make sure your oral health is the best that it can be. This includes solving jaw alignment or jaw joint problems. What is TMJ? The symptoms or pain that is derived from problems with your jaw joint is called temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMD. TMD can cause discomfort and can lead to other health problems. Our Billings, MT dentist and his team at Legacy Smiles will provide TMJ treatment to solve these problems so you can be comfortable once more.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
Some symptoms of TMD include pain in your jaw, popping or clicking of your jaw, ear pain or cracking, ringing or popping in your ears, headaches, blurred vision, stiff or sore jaw or neck muscles, shoulder pain, jaw locking or dislocation, facial pain, cheek pain, or tingling or numbness in your chin. All of these symptoms can be uncomfortable and can be treated by your Billings, MT dentist office.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is simply the habitual grinding or clenching of your teeth. Often, this happens while you sleep or work. Excessive grinding or clenching can cause headaches, jaw soreness, and damage to your teeth. Teeth grinding can often be treated similarly to TMD and the origin of the problems are often linked. It can even cause damage to your temporomandibular joint, causing the pain associated with TMD. Dr. Stuart offers Bruxism and TMJ treatment options that are simple and easy to use.
What causes TMJ and Bruxism?
Some common causes of TMJ pain or bruxism are arthritis, injury, misalignment of the teeth, misalignment of the jaw, stress, allergies, or other irritations in the mouth. Children often experience acute TMD or bruxism issues due to changes in their developing jaws. However, these same problems can be damaging and painful in adults whose jaws are no longer developing. Long-term problems often require TMJ treatment by a dental health care professional.
How are TMJ and Bruxism treated?
Symptoms of TMD and bruxism can usually be treated by occlusal splint therapy. Our Billings, MT dentist office employs the NTI tension suppression system. This system is a transparent plastic device that is constructed to fit your mouth. Most of the time, it is used as a night guard to prevent your upper teeth from touching the lower teeth. This takes stress off of the jaw joint and prevents teeth from grinding or clenching at night.
We can also make bite adjustments and place crowns in order to change the way your upper and lower jaws fit together. This can take pressure off of your jaw joint and allow your mouth to rest in the most relaxed position possible. Without jaw joint pain or other discomfort associated with TMJ or bruxism issues, your quality of life can dramatically improve.
If you believe you might have TMJ or bruxism problems, please contact our Billings, MT dentist office to schedule a thorough examination. You can reach us at (406) 794-3114 or by using our online contact form. We would be happy to help you determine if a splint or other TMJ treatment is the right solution for your bruxism or TMJ pain. Let us help you feel more comfortable.
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If your kids don’t like to go to the dentist, try Dr. Stuart. Our kids love him and his team. We just visited them yesterday for our 6 month checkup and cleaning, and Brianne was awesome! When I was a kid, the dental hygienist was a lumberjack – but not Brianne, she’s very professional and mindful of each of us. I have sensitive teeth and gums, and my visit with Dr. Stuart and his team was relaxing and easy. And the receptionist Lisa is so great, she always has a smile and positive attitude…so refreshing to have a dentist like Dr. Stuart. We have been going to Dr. Stuart for over 10 years, give him a try; you and your kids will notice the difference.
Our family found the way to Legacy Smiles in the midst of an ongoing yet undiagnosed dental crisis. Fortunately, Dr. Stuart aptly diagnosed the situation and promptly referred me to an oral surgeon to bring immediate relief. Since then, our family continues to be blessed by the genuine empathy and compassion Dr. Stuart has for his patients. He openly addresses any worries or fears we have, always in an informative and respectful manner. We encounter the same high standard of care with all of the staff at Legacy Smiles. Any treatment concerns or financial issues are courteously and promptly addressed and resolved. Dr. Stuart and Legacy Smiles provide the finest professional dental services with incomparable personal care!
Thank you, Dr. Stuart, for the senior discount on the dental work you have done for Vern and me. We’re also sending ‘kudos’ for you as well as your professional and competent staff – Lisa is a gem! It has been a pleasure interacting with all of you through the years. You and Cheryl are a good team… you’re ‘easy on the mouth’!
I wanted to thank you for the excellent service and experience I receive each time I come to your office. I appreciate the warm welcome, the time you spend explaining the procedures, and the personal touch you give. You always go the extra mile and have been a wonderful blessing to my family.
My family and I have been patients of Dr. Stuart for approximately 10 years. First I established dental care, then I quickly realized my children were of age to begin dental care as well. Dr. Stuart and his team have always been amazing to work with. I have 3 children ages 14, 10, and 5. Not one of them is fearful or frightened to go to the dentist. In fact, my 10-year-old just realized this year that she is actually “getting a shot” when she comes in for dental maintenance. She got her first filling at age 4! We are treated professionally, and they are always accommodating to our scheduling needs. I have frequently recommended friends or family to Legacy Smiles and Dr. Stuart only to receive a personal thank you letter and gift as a thank you! Lisa is always on the ball with insurance claims and reminders. I just have to show up! Thank you Dr. Stuart and the team at Legacy Smiles! Your patient care and service has improved our dental health. We love you guys!
Looking for a dentist who will see you in a timely manner? How about listening to you about any fear, be they physical or financial, in a caring, friendly manner? Is taking time to explain a recommended dental procedure important? Don’t hesitate to call Dr. Michael Stuart at Legacy Smiles where you are a valued patient.
I love going to Legacy Smiles! All the staff are so friendly and make the experience a good one! I can’t wait for my next appointment!
I live in So. California and was once visiting Billings and needed to see a dentist. I tried out a few and finally settled on Dr. Stuart. He is simply the best! He extracted a lower wisdom tooth, and when the anesthetic wore off, there was no pain. Zero, zilch, nothing! He and his hygienist are also the only ones who know how to scale and plane my very sensitive mouth with no anesthetic and no pain. And all of them, including the office manager, are very pleasant and accommodating. I highly recommend them. And I, myself, scheduled my dental work for when I was going to be in Helena, MT, then drove 4 hours each way to see this very special dentist. Well worth your while to check him out.