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Dr. Michael W. Stuart

Dr. Craig E. Stannebein

2700 Grand Avenue, Suite D. Billings, MT 59102

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Friday by Appointment Only

(406) 794-3114
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Bruxism & TMJ Treatment | Billings, MT Dentist | Legacy Smiles

Bruxism and TMJ Treatment Options From Billings, MT Dentist – Dr. Stuart

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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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