Are Bruxism And TMJ Disorder Connected?

Both bruxism and TMJ disorder can lead to similar symptoms, such as headaches or jaw pain. While very different, these two oral health issues are often connected. What connects teeth grinding and jaw joint strain? What treatment options can the dentist provide?

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism occurs when the patient regularly grinds his or her teeth or clenches the jaw. These episodes typically occur during sleep, but there are symptoms to watch for during the day, such as pain in the jaw, headaches, toothaches and tooth sensitivity, and pain in the neck or shoulders. Eventually, the constant pressure from grinding and clenching can crack and chip teeth, or wear down enamel. The damaged teeth can then increase the risk of serious oral health complications. Causes range from stress and tooth loss to misalignment or injury to the jaw.

TMJ Disorder

When our jaw joints, which control the actions necessary to eat and speak, undergo excessive strain, then patients can develop TMJ disorder. Eventually, the disorder makes opening and closing the mouth difficult. Patients may experience a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw, headaches, jaw pain, and aches in the neck or shoulders. Causes can include tooth loss, misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, and stress.

The Connection and Possible Treatment Options

Patients with bruxism may develop TMJ disorder due to the pressure on the jaw joints, and vice versa. Without treatment, one disorder can quickly lead to the other. Fortunately, we have treatment options to address the issue. We can offer patients a custom-made oral appliance. The device is worn at night and looks like a nightguard. The device repositions the jaw to ease TMJ disorder and bruxism. In addition, the appliance also places a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent further damage from grinding or clenching episodes. If you have any questions about treating these jaw joint disorders, then contact our team today.

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

We can offer comfortable and minimally invasive treatment options to address bruxism and TMD. You can schedule an appointment with Munilla Dental in Southlake, TX by calling 817-379-1200.