Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, affects millions of people. One of the most serious complications of bruxism is temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), which can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding or clenching. It occurs during sleep or while awake (awake bruxism) and can be caused by a range of factors, including stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. When bruxism goes untreated, it can lead to a range of dental problems, including:
Symptoms you may experience if you’re suffering from bruxism include:
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. John Leitner for an evaluation. We’ll help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend the best treatment.
There’s a strong link between bruxism and TMJ disorders. When bruxism occurs frequently and with significant force, it can have several effects on the TMJ, which may ultimately lead to TMJ disorders.
In severe cases, you may develop TMJ disorder from teeth grinding due to:
Preventing and treating bruxism can help reduce the risk of developing a TMJ disorder. To avoid bruxism and TMJ, make sure to do the following:
Treatment for TMD and bruxism varies depending on the cause and severity of your condition. Treatment options may include:
No, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders and bruxism (teeth grinding) are not the same, but there’s a link between the two. Bruxism is a habit of grinding, clenching, or gnashing the teeth, while TMJ disorders are conditions that affect the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement.
Bruxism can present differently in each individual, but some common signs of bruxism include worn, damaged, or sensitive teeth, headaches, jaw pain, earaches, facial pain, and sleep disruption. Teeth grinding or clenching can also create a grinding or loud clicking sound that can be heard by others.
Unfortunately, there’s no definitive cure for bruxism, but there are several treatment options that can help manage the condition. These include wearing a mouth guard or splint, stress management techniques, lifestyle changes, medication, dental work, and behavioral therapy. Visit a dentist to learn more about managing your bruxism.
Yes. If left untreated, bruxism can cause permanent damage to the teeth and jaw. Over time, constant grinding or clenching of the teeth can wear down the enamel, causing the teeth to become chipped or cracked. Additionally, bruxism can cause pain and damage to the jaw joint and muscles, which can lead to long-term jaw pain and dysfunction. Seek treatment for bruxism as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from bruxism, seek treatment from a dental professional like Dr. John Leitner. The longer the condition goes untreated, the greater the risk of permanent damage to your teeth and jaw.
Don’t suffer in silence — schedule an appointment with our Grand Haven dentist by calling (616) 842-2850 to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. Take action today and prioritize your oral health.