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What Does Teeth-Grinding Have to Do with Jaw Pain?

When you have bruxism, you may not always realize just how often you grind your teeth. Therefore, you might not immediately recognize the connection between your teeth-grinding habit and the chronic pain in your jaw known as TMJ disorder. However, for many patients, bruxism and TMJ disorder are closely related. The incessant grinding can damage your jaw joints, leading to TMJ disorder, and the discomfort from the jaw dysfunction can exacerbate symptoms of bruxism. If your teeth-grinding is related to your jaw pain, then your dentist may be able to help you find an appropriate solution for both.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism describes the persistent grinding and clenching of your teeth, usually while you sleep. The condition can indicate a number of different underlying issues, including TMJ disorder, a misaligned bite, or many more. To determine if you have bruxism, your dentist will perform a comprehensive exam to search for signs such as tooth wear and damage, asymmetry in your teeth or jaw’s alignment, or a discrepancy in your bite’s movement when you open and close it.

The Bruxism-TMJ Disorder Relationship

Because bruxism involves constantly grinding your teeth together, one of the biggest consequences (aside from tooth damage) is damage to your jaw joints and muscles. Known as TMJ disorder, such damage can lead to a host of severe discomforts, including jaw pain, chronic headaches, and tinnitus. It can also lead to difficulty biting and chewing, muscle spasms in your jaw and face, and increasingly worse teeth-grinding.

Find Relief from Bruxism and TMJ Disorder

Bruxism and TMJ disorder are often intricately tied together, and for many patients, treating one means treating the other, as well. To schedule your consultation, call Lathrop Dental Center in Katy, TX at 832-437-3849. We proudly welcome patients and families from Katy, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, Cypress, Sealy, Columbus, and all surrounding communities.