Riggs Family Dentistry in Stuart, Florida provides treatment for Tempro-Mandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ or TMD) which affect a large percentage of the population. It is a common condition characterized by symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, muscle pain, neck pain, grinding or clenching of teeth and even ringing in the ears. For some that have no symptoms or any indication of a problem, wear or cracks in their teeth may be the only sign of TMD. Many TMD sufferers often find their symptoms worsen during prolonged or unexpected times of stress. We also find many people have developed a regular habit of clenching or grinding (bruxism) their teeth during times when they are extremely busy, rushed or focused on a task. In some cases the cause of these para-functional habits is a misaligned bite.
Dr. Crystel Riggs has extensive training in occlusion and TMJ disorders and will perform a thorough evaluation of your TMJ, teeth and jaw muscles with digital xrays, photos and a clinical exam to diagnose any incidence of TMD and the cause. Every individual is unique and their TMD signs and symptoms can vary from pure grinding or pure clenching to both clenching and grinding. The vast majority of patients can be treated with a customized appliance to wear during sleep when most individuals have no control over their bruxism. This nightguard appliance is not only protective for the teeth but also for the TMJ, as it can reduce the tendency to grind, thus lessening the forces with which the muscles can work. Continued and unprotected bruxism can result in short, worn and cracked teeth as well as lead to more severe dental consequences such as tooth loss, damage to the joint and or the disc, bone resorption or intense, increasing pain.
Our TMJ nightguards are custom fit and adjusted to your teeth and bite and can give immediate pain relief to some. For others, that have do not have any symptoms from their bruxism the benefit will be long term preservation of their teeth and joints from further damaging wear.
We also offer Botox injections for trigger point and muscular injections to treat TMD. Training with the American Academy of Facial Esthetics has allowed Dr. Riggs to offer her patients more immediate pain relief from chronic TMJ pain.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are just concerned that you may be damaging your teeth from grinding or clenching, call us to schedule an appointment.