Tooth grinding, also called Bruxism, is a common symptom of TMJ Disorder. However, it is not caused solely by TMJ Disorder. Many people handle stress by clenching their jaws and grinding their teeth. When grinding is caused by TMJD it can in turn be caused by several different issues. It can be caused by muscle spasms as the muscles of the jaw attempt to realign the occlusion, how your jaw aligns when closed.
Tooth grinding can also be caused by issues with the inner ear. The tensor levi palatini inside the ear opens and closes the Eustachian tubes, which regulates pressure in the ear. If this muscle closes the Eustachian tubes the other way of opening the tubes is by moving the jaw. At night the jaw muscles work to open the tubes, causing grinding. G rinding can make horrible gnashing sounds at night and can do serious damage to the teeth. The teeth will slowly become flatter and the teeth, especially the molars, will become damaged by the forces placed on them.
© 2012 Dr Mark Padolsky - Atlanta TMJ Dentist | 1624 Piedmont Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30324 | 404-876-8123