What Causes Teeth Grinding
Bruxism, also known as tooth grinding, is the medical term for clenching or grinding teeth. Millions of Americans unconsciously grind their teeth and/or clench their jaw either while awake or during sleep.
TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is an umbrella term covering pain and dysfunction of the muscles that move the jaw and the temporomandibular joints. A large portion of all adults (upto 20%) suffer some dregree of pain, but it is not considered life threatening. For more extreme sufferers however, it can restrict movement, be very painful and disruptive to sleep, causing migranes and back pain as well as other aches and pains.
Check With Your Dentist if….
Due to the fact grinding frequently happens during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth.
Telltale symptoms of bruxism include headaches, stiffness, a sore jaw. If you suspect you grind your teeth the best way to check is to ask your dentist if there is any evidence. They are the experts and will examine your mouth and jaw for symptoms of bruxism, together with jaw tenderness and abnormalities on your enamel.
Common Bruxism Symptoms
- Headaches and earaches (because of severe jaw muscle contractions)
- Teeth grinding or clenching (can be noisy), often while asleep, others may notice
- Worn, flattened, fractured or chipped teeth
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of tooth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Muscle tightness and chronic facial pain
Common TMJ Symptoms
- Chewing muscles and/or jaw joint stiff and sore
- Jaw muscle stiffness and pain, often radiating through face, jaw and neck
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw
- Clicking, and/or grating in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
- A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together (movement of jaw structure)
Some Bruxism Info
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Some TMJ / TMD Info
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