TMJ & Bruxism

TMJ & Bruxism

We want to help break the pain cycle

The involuntary, unconscious habit of clenching and grinding your teeth is known as a condition called bruxism. Bruxism can occur when you are awake or sleeping and is usually caused by stress and anxiety. 

Bruxism can cause visible wear and flattening of teeth, including cracking, breaking, loss of tooth enamel leading to tooth sensitivity, gum sensitivity and chipped teeth. In extreme cases, bruxism can cause cracks which extend to the root of a tooth requiring the tooth to be extracted. In addition to tooth damage, Bruxism can cause headaches, neck pain or jaw soreness.  

Treatment for bruxism can include muscle relaxation exercises, orthodontic treatments, bespoke mouthguards and splints designed and specifically fitted to discourage clenching and grinding and protect teeth. In addition, small injections of muscle relaxant can be placed in the masseter muscle and reducing the ability to damage teeth when clenching and grinding.

Botulinum toxin usually begins to work in about 1 to 3 days after injection (but can take up to two weeks), and the effects could last 3 to 6 months.

Other sleep related breathing disorders have been linked to Bruxism. Our dentists can advise you how to obtain a diagnosis for such disorders.


Temporomandibular joint dysfunction refers to a disorder of the jaw resulting in compromised movement and function of the jaw joint and surrounding muscle. TMD (aka TMJ) can cause  symptoms such as swelling of the jaw, lock-jaw, difficulty chewing, bruxism and pain in the head, face, shoulders and neck.

Bruxism refers to the jaw clenching and teeth grinding that often occurs at night which can crack and damage teeth. TMD is a disorder of the jaw joint which prevents it from opening and closing properly. TMD may manifest symptoms such as bruxism, as well as jaw swelling, head, neck and shoulder aches and pain, difficulty chewing and lock jaw.

Injections into the masseter muscle in your jaw can provide relief from bruxism and help train your masseter muscles not to clench.

The effects can last from 3 to 6 months.

Custom-made nighttime mouth guards know as Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Devices (knows as NTIs)  are specifically  designed and fitted to  your mouth using our 3D scanner and printed from a durable material which deters the clenching and grinding habits of the patient. Your guard is fitted and adjusted by our dentist to ensure it is comfortable and a tight fit for you. Over the counter sports mouth guards are not only generic and ill-fitting, but their soft material actually encourages patients to clench – making them counter-productive in treating bruxism. 


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