Being asleep makes it difficult for you to regulate whether you grind your teeth at night. But that doesn't imply you have no options. Teeth grinding or bruxism can cause several adverse symptoms, such as temporomandibular joint disorder and the morning soreness in your teeth and jaw (TMD). This happens when the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) becomes dysfunctional, resulting in popping sounds, jaw pain, difficulty eating, and clicking and locking the jaw joint.
TMJ and Gnashing
Tooth erosion will inevitably occur if you grind your teeth frequently. The tooth surface is not impervious. Excessive use results in diminished protection and injury resistance. Uneven wear can result in cracks, breaks, or jagged shapes when the tooth surface deteriorates. An individual's resting bite position becomes imbalanced due to the disruption caused by the teeth's faster wear down.
However, erosion is not the only fear of gnashing. Another issue this can cause is TMD. This type of continuous pressure, or misalignment, will eventually cause issues with the TMJ. This is why it is vital to catch signs of grinding and TMD early. Dental misalignment can provide additional strain on the temporomandibular joint, which may eventually cause inflammatory symptoms typical of TMD.
Bruxism, or habitually clenching and grinding your teeth, can be detrimental to your dental health and nearby muscle groups, posture, and chronic pain. Bruxism's aftereffects can include:
- Teeth that are broken, chipped, or flat
- Worn-down tooth enamel
- Increased sensitivity
- Face, neck, or jaw aches or pains
- Sleep interruptions
Several of these symptoms involve discomfort directly linked to the teeth and TMJ. Take precautions by considering a mouthguard at night until you can make it in to see a physician.
When to Visit a Physician
Being present and aware of our bodies is one of the most vital things we can do for our health. People frequently put off taking care of themselves because life can get busy. Do not endure the agony of TMD without receiving treatment if you are experiencing it. Dental self-exams are a recommendation made by Dr. Wallace.
Dr. Wallace has years of experience managing TMJ issues in patients. Her expertise and innovative dental techniques help people feel pain-free and move toward long-term solutions. Contact Dr. Wallace's office at (843) 410-0345 for more information about bruxism and TMD brought on by teeth grinding, or fill out our online contact form.