Try for a moment to recall an instance in which you were angry, upset, stressed, or otherwise aggravated. Do you remember grinding your teeth? Do your jaws tighten now at the memory of whatever upset you then? Occasionally clenching your jaw is natural, especially in times of increased negative emotion. However, when it becomes a habit, bruxism can damage your teeth and lead to a host of other dental woes, including damaged or misaligned jaw joints. Today, we explore the mechanisms of bruxism and how bruxism is intertwined with TMJ disorder, or TMD.
The Cycle of Bite Problems
Habitual teeth-grinding frequently occurs at night when the patient is unaware and unable to prevent it, though it may occur during the daytime, as well. The excessive pressure and friction can strip your teeth of their enamel, and in severe cases, can wear down the structure of your teeth. Changing the landscape of your bite can throw it out of alignment, and malocclusion often results in the need for corrective orthodontic treatment. The stress of constant tension can also damage your temporomandibular joints (TMJs), leading to the TMD. When your jaw’s joints are damaged or misaligned, your jaw can spasm and cause your teeth to grind together.
Relieving Bruxism and TMJ Disorder
While you may not always be aware of your teeth-grinding together, maintaining a strict schedule of dental exams and cleanings can allow your dentist to thoroughly inspect your mouth for signs of telltale damage. If you suffer from chronic headaches or pain in your neck, face, ears, shoulders, and/or jaws, you may need to treatment for TMJ disorder to help defeat your bruxism. Your dentist may also recommend a sleep guard, similar to a sports mouthguard, which you can wear at night to prevent your teeth from raking across each other.
Learn More About Bruxism and TMJ Disorder
When left untreated, bruxism and TMJ disorder can lead to a cycle that causes severe damage to your teeth and oral structures. To learn more, schedule a consultation with your dentist by calling Just Wright Dental in Corsicana, TX, today by calling (903) 225-2221. We also proudly welcome patients from Waxahachie, Mildred, Eureka, Ennis, Fairfield, Teague, Blooming Grove, Dawson, Hubbard, Hillsboro, Mexia, Groesbeck, Kerens, Malakoff, Rice, Centerville, Buffalo, and Athens.