The Relationship Between Bruxism And TMD
Do you often feel discomfort in your face and jaw, especially after eating or speaking for a long time? Have you learned that your teeth are worn down? Have you recently had a tooth that cracked or chipped out of the blue? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing the effects of bruxism — a common condition in which people grind or clench their teeth. Many patients are surprised to learn they grind their teeth, as it usually happens at night during sleep. Sleep bruxism can be dangerous because it can cause serious damage to your teeth and oral health.
What Can Bruxism Do?
If bruxism remains untreated, it can cause damage to your teeth. The added pressure and grinding motion can wear down the enamel — the outer covering of the teeth. Bruxism can also lead to teeth becoming cracked or broken due to the repeated pressure that is put on the teeth. Although enamel is strong, it is not indestructible.
Bruxism can also lead to a condition known as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition affects the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects the jaw to the skull. These are some signs to look for to determine if you are suffering from bruxism or TMD:
- Clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth
- Discomfort in the jaw or facial muscles
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in your bite or tooth alignment
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is important to be sure to stay relaxed. Feeling nervous, anxious or stressed can lead to muscle tightness and tension in the body, which can lead to teeth grinding and other symptoms of TMD.
Many people don’t know who to turn to for relief from their discomfort and don’t realize that our office can help treat this issue. During your regular exams, we will look for signs of teeth grinding and wear on your teeth. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from bruxism or TMD, call our location in Canandaigua, NY to book your next appointment.