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Jaw Pain, TMD and Bruxism:  the Connection and Cure Atlanta, GA

Sweet dreams don’t occur for those of us whose partners are clenching and grinding their teeth. Most people are unaware of nightly clenching that unconsciously occurs during their sleep, until a loving partner awakens in the middle of the night by the annoying sounds of grating and grinding. I’d rather hear snoring, remarked one frustrated partner, Tom’s teeth grinding sounds something akin to glass breaking and gravel crunching!

We live in a time where many of us are under enormous amounts of stress and pressures. For certain patients this tension is released in the unconscious state of sleep by clenching and grinding our teeth, says noted prosthodontist, Dr. David Zelby, founder of Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta. But, there are other causes he explains, most notably, “poor alignment of your teeth or abnormal bite.”

While some “clinchers and grinders,” never experience pain, most bruxism sufferers show the “tell, tell” symptoms; tooth sensitivity (caused by eroded tooth enamel), facial and jaw pain, headaches, and of course, the eventual wearing down of teeth. Bruxism that is not brought under control can lead to severe wear and abrasion on the enamel causing fracture of the teeth leading to loss. In more severe cases I have seen loss of facial structure as the teeth erode after years of continual pressure and  friction. There have been cases where full mouth reconstruction was needed due to postponement of corrective treatment. says Dr. Zelby. Usually, continued jaw pain and headaches are the symptoms that bring patients to their doctor.

Once the enamel has worn away the teeth are susceptible to rapid decay, gum disease as well as unsightly fractures. The condition, left untreated can develop into a whole array of health problems including TMD,  (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) a condition caused by the continual pressure placed on the muscles, tissues and other structures around your jaw. Without treatment the damage caused by the continual pressure on your jaw muscles and the surfaces of your teeth become more complicated and expensive to treat.

Using todays’ advanced restorative treatment options, smiles can be returned to optimal appearance and health. Dental implants, porcelain crowns, bridges, composite bondings and dental veneers are a few of the treatments your dentist may suggest. It is far easier for people to recognize the symptoms of TMD and seek treatment with a qualified professional as soon as possible. Believing that communication is a key in correct diagnosis, Dr. David Zelby, routinely asks his patients, how does your jaw feel when you wake up in the morning?  During an oral examination your dentist should look for the physical signs of grinding on your teeth such as, excessive wearing or chips. I have helped many patients find relief from their  symptoms, preventing not only pain but, the destruction and erosion of their teeth, remarks the doctor.

The course of treatment at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta includes custom designed mouth guards or appliances (splints) for patients with diagnosed TMD. The goal is to reduce the pressure caused by clenching as much as possible, says Dr. Zelby. There are several different types of splints I consider depending on the alignment of the teeth, he explains. The idea is to keep your jaw in a more relaxed position with space allowed between the anterior molars. After wearing the custom mouth appliances at night for a few weeks most patients have positive results and are pain free.

A few weeks of wearing his mouth appliance Tom, an attorney practicing in Atlanta is pain free. He remarks how he begins each day differently. I never realize how my jaw clenching and grinding interrupted my sleep. I now wake up feeling rested and no longer feel soreness, no headaches and I’m pain free. I feel great and my wife is sleeping peacefully at night!

Posted on behalf of Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta

200 Galleria Pkwy SE, Suite 1830
Atlanta, GA 30339

Phone: (770) 955-0550

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What Our Patients Says
Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta

4.8 / 5

Based on 30 reviews

I was recommended this practice from another dentist who told me this is where she would send her own family. I can definitely see why. This is a state of the art practice that is clean, modern, and well lit. The staff did a superb job.

James R.

Everything about my experience was enjoyable. I felt like the practice used all of the most advanced and best technology out there which gave me a wonderful feeling of confidence. They were very professional and straight forward and I have never had a better dentistry experience. I'd highly recommend checking them out if you're looking for a new dentist. They're friendly and efficient and they really do know what they're doing there.

Meghan D.

Dr Zelby has been my dentist now for almost 17 years. Not only is he a really nice person, his dentistry is completely top notch. If you need any restorations, I don't think that there is another place to even consider. You'll be amazed with his work!

Brian S.

Dr. Levine was great, and Dr. Zelby stopped by and answered some questions I had about sheering forces on enamel. They were both very friendly, and the hygenist (whose name I forget, unfortunately) gave one of the most thorough cleanings I've ever had. The office was clean, the devices all seem shiny and well maintained, and overall it was a great experience

Benjamin S.

After going to another dentist, doctor Zelby was able to fix my front two teeth so that the front two teeth were back to the same length and color. I'm so thankful he was able to make them look normal again. Dr. Zelby and his staff are so pleasant to be around as well. I highly recommend this office if you have a major problem with your teeth that need to be fixed. He can get it done and he will make sure you are happy.

Carrie G.

I had been going to the same dentist for many years and switched to Aesthetic and Implant recently. My experience with Dr Levine was incredible. I cannot be happier with the decision I made. The cleaning and other services I received were well above and beyond any other I have ever had. Highly recommend this practice to everyone!

Matthew G.

Couldn't be happier! Absolutely worth the travel time. Dr Zelby is without doubt the best - caring, knowledgeable, reassuring and very professional. Couldn't ask for better dentistry. Staff also very competent and professional. Beautiful, clean environment

Diane W.

Megan is the best dental hygienist I’ve ever had. She does a phenomenal job keeping your teeth clean, is super nice, and makes you feel right at home. The whole staff is very friendly and I couldn’t recommend this place enough!

Vincent C.
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Cobb Galleria Office Complex, Building 200, Suite 1830

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200 Galleria Pkwy SE, Suite 1830
Atlanta, GA 30339

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