Do you ever experience pain in your jaw or the muscles around your jaw joint?

This pain may be caused by “TMJ disorders” – a type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD – which can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.

The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. However, the pain can be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth (this is called bruxism), although many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.

Sleep bruxism, characterized by teeth grinding or jaw clenching, causes tooth destruction, headache, orofacial pain, and jaw dysfunction. It can be extremely painful! The causes of sleep bruxism range from psychosocial factors (e.g., life stress, anxiety) to an excessive sleep arousal response.

Dr Najebeh Jangavar of Perfect Dental Fairfield recently attended the 2019 update on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) held at the University of Sydney. The update was presented by internationally respected and highly experienced members of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Orofacial Pain, the peak body in Australia devoted to the study and management of TMD and orofacial pain.

A recent study has shown a significant correlation between TMD and obstructive sleep apnoea, such as insomnia, poor upper airway function and rhinitis, with 70% of cases causing TMD and bruxism.

New studies on treating TMJ disorders

Obstructive sleep apnoea can be treated by mandibular functional appliances which treat bruxism.

Dr Najebeh can also prescribe an occlusal splint (also known as a night guard or bite plate) which is worn at night while you sleep to reduce the wear and tear on your teeth. The splint is custom-made to fit your mouth so that it is as comfortable as possible to wear.

New studies have also shown that using Botox for bruxism can effectively halt grinding in the first place by acting as a force reduction in TMJ.

If you would like to book a free consultation with Dr Najebeh, please contact us on (02) 9755 7755 or text 0477 774 199.