Grinding your teeth at night is largely out of your control; after all, you're asleep. That doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about it. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, doesn't just make your teeth and jaw hurt in the morning, it can also lead to various other side effects including temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Grinding and TMJ
Regularly grinding the teeth will inevitably lead to tooth erosion. The tooth surface isn't impenetrable after all. With excess wear comes depleted defense against trauma and protection. As the tooth surface wears away, it often does so unevenly which can lead to cracks, breaks, or jagged shaping. This accelerated wearing down of the teeth disrupts alignment and leaves a person's resting bite position unbalanced.Dental imbalance can lead to the temporomandibular joint bearing additional strain which can eventually result in inflammation symptoms consistent with TMJ disorder.
Bruxism, or grinding your teeth and regularly clenching, can spell trouble for dental health and cause complications for adjacent muscle groups, posture, and chronic pain. The after-effects of bruxism can include:
- Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of teeth
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Tired or tight jaw muscles and the potential for lockjaw
- Jaw, neck, or face pain or soreness
- Dull pain starting in the temples
Interrupted sleep, either due to the sound of teeth grinding or from sorenessWhile many of these symptoms are directly related to the teeth, several involve pain or soreness in the nearby systems associated with TMJ disorder.
When to See A Doctor
One of the most important things we can do for our health is to be present and aware of our bodies. Life can get busy and people often put off taking care of themselves. If you're suffering from the effects of TMD don't live another day in pain without treatment. Something Dr. Wallace advocates for is the practice of dental self-exams. This can be as simple as:1 Going to a mirror2 Opening your mouth wide3 Having a close look as the state of your teethIt's as simple as that. If something doesn't look right, it's time to schedule an appointment with our team of dental experts.
Teeth Grinding and TMJ Pain Treatment in Beaufort, SC
Dr. Wallace has years of experience treating patients suffering from TMJ disorders. Her knowledge and cutting-edge approach to dentistry relieve patients' pain and put them on track to long-term solutions. For more information on bruxism and teeth grinding-related TMJ pain, contact Dr. Wallace's office at (843) 410-0345 or visit our contact form here.
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