Many adolescents and adults can experience the painful symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder or TMD.
Some of the major contributing factors to TMD are tooth clenching or bruxism (tooth grinding). The incidence of bruxism and clenching has been reported in several studies to be as high as 15% of the adult population. However, this figure is most probably higher with people often not aware they are grinding or clenching, or haven’t reported it to their dentist or doctor.
A useful appliance to combat tooth grinding and reduce the symptoms of TMD is to wear an occlusal splint or night guard. These devices can also reduce the amount of tooth enamel lost from nocturnal grinding or clenching.
Additional options to treat TMD include behavioural change and reduction of life stress and anxiety, physiotherapy, heat treatment and anti-inflammatory medication.