Grinding or Clenching Teeth
is an acronym for Temporomandibular joint (jaw
joint), a joint that slides and rotates just in front of
your ear. Mastication (chewing) muscles connect the lower
jaw to the skull, allowing you to move your jaw and chew,
swallow, speck and communicate.
problems (Temporomandibular Disorder, TMD) can affect
children and adults, and affects more women than men. The
condition is often cyclical.
tasks, either mental (stress) or physical (strain), can
cause or aggravate TMD. Other reasons can be lost or crooked
teeth, overbite, malocclusion (teeth fit together poorly),
head or neck injuries including whiplash. Most discomfort is
caused from overuse of the muscles, specifically clenching
or grinding the teeth (Bruxism) that generally occurs
Children often grind their teeth when teeth
are erupting. This is not uncommon, nor is it a problem if
it is mild. However, more severe cases can lead to a
malocclusion that often requires Orthodontics to avoid
developing TMJ problems.
or grinding teeth
Aggravation of your periodontal disease.
teeth when no dental problems can be found
spots (attrition), malocclusion, brittle teeth that require
(clicking, popping, crunching) when opening or closing the
opening or locking of the jaw
tenderness in the jaw or face muscles
temporal (side) headaches
or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
soreness around the jaw joints, especially when eating
that sometimes disrupts your partner's sleep
missing teeth or correcting a bad bite (the way your teeth
therapy, posture training
Practicing stress management and relaxation techniques.
soft foods and avoiding chewing gum may help relax the
pain relievers and using ice and hot packs
bad habits (thumbsucking, tongue thrusting, habitual biting
on objects or fingernails, mouth breathing)
clenching or grinding during the day
use a nightguard, a custom-fitted maxillary small
mouthpiece, which helps reposition the mouth to ease strain
on the jaw and teeth, alleviate symptoms and prevent further
Treating with a
nightguard at the initial stage is very cost effective
compared to not treating the problem and risking damaged
teeth followed by with crowns, bridges or dentures.
to determine the best course of treatment, an accurate
diagnosis is important.
Consult with Dr. Hoffmeyer to
determine if you are suffering from TMJ Syndrome and weather
affecting your periodontal condition.