When Chronic Teeth-Grinding Results In Jaw Dysfunction

TMJ word on cubes on a blue background with a jar of tablets. Medical concept.For many people, the biggest concerns to their beautiful, healthy smiles come from harmful oral bacteria eating away at their natural structures. Indeed, decay is at the core of a number of dental issues and threats to your oral health, including cavities, infected root canals, deterioration, and ultimately tooth loss. For other individuals, however, this concern falls in the shadow of another, one that results in a jaw dysfunction that impacts their every day. In today’s blog, your Cedar Rapids, IA dentist will look at the effects of chronic teeth-grinding, and how it can ultimately result in severe misalignment and discomfort if left untreated. 

Worn Surfaces

Bruxism, also known as chronic teeth-grinding, is the phenomenon that occurs when you unconsciously grind your teeth together from side-to-side with often harmful levels of clenching or tension. It can be caused by a number of factors, including levels of stress, your body attempting to regulate breathing, and more. Oftentimes, any people do not seek treatment in a timely manner because they either do not know the intensity of the problem, or they believe it happens seldomly enough that it is not a major concern. On the contrary, however, bruxism can cause a number of problems, as well as impact your daily routine. For instance, the constant friction created by rubbing the surfaces of your oral structures together will eventually cause those surfaces to become worn, ultimately weakening them and increasing your chances for developing infections or decay. If you suspect you grind your teeth while you sleep, do not hesitate to contact our team today to learn your options.

Increased Pain

In addition to the deterioration caused by bruxism, your daily function may become impacted as well. When you grind, you are clenching your jaws together, creating an additional point of tension that causes your jaw to feel sore or stiff. What’s more, this sensation can cause difficulty opening the mouth to perform tasks such as eating, yawning, or speaking. If left untreated, these side effects will continue to grow in caliber, ultimately resulting in pain and strain.

Jaw Dysfunction

Arguably the most concerning of threats that arise from bruxism is its ability to create misalignment in the jaw, a dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) are the two major joints on either side of your cranium in which your lower jaw hinges. Consistent bruxism can cause the lower mandible to become displaced from those joints, resulting in misalignment. Not only does this concern impact ordinary functions, but you may experience a popping or clicking notion in the jaw as well as suffer from damage to the joints and tissues.  There are treatments that can help realign your jaw such as splint therapy and other methods to solve this problem, but keep in mind that it is always sooner to act on the concern than later.

Schedule Your Visit

To learn more about the dangers of bruxism and TMJ disorder, or to schedule your visit, contact Cedar Dental in Cedar Rapids, IA by calling 319-364-7108 today.

4201 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402