Tooth Grinding

     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.

     As tooth grinding continues to occur other problems are created. Tooth sensitivity is a common symptom of grinding. This sensitivity is the teeth trying to say that something is seriously wrong. If nothing is done it can actually loose the teeth or even fracture the teeth. Unfortunately, if this grinding doesn’t stop it will just damage these restorations as well!
     If you are suffering from these TMJ symptoms do not suffer in silence and do not wait to seek treatment. Even if you have been unsuccessfully treated for TMJ in the past do not let it discourage you, it is possible to get relief from your unpleasant symptoms. TMJ treatment is not an instantaneous cure and can take devotion on the parts of patient and dentist alike.

© 2012  Dr Mark Padolsky - Atlanta TMJ Dentist  |  1624 Piedmont Avenue, NE

Atlanta, Georgia 30324  |  404-876-8123