Tooth Grinding / Bruxism
Bruxism is excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth that is not part of the normal function of chewing. It can lead to abnormal tooth wear and may result in permanent damage to the teeth and jaw joints. Bruxism can occur during the night when we sleep and therefore beyond our conscious control. It is usually associated physical or psychological stress and sometimes due to abnormality in the bite eg. a high filling. Treatments of bruxism include painkillers, bite adjustments, occlusal splints (also called night guard) and sometimes muscle relaxant medication.
TMJ is the joint that connects the lower and upper jaw. The term TMJ stands for Temporo-mandibular Joint. This is one of the most complex joints in the entire body, capable of forward and backward movement, rotations, and side-to-side movements. Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ problems are:
Limited movement of the lower jaw
Locking of the jaw
Some potential causes of the disease include genetics, hormones, low-level infections, auto-immune diseases, trauma, and clenching or grinding of the teeth. Diagnosis and evaluation of such conditions are performed by dentists experienced in TMJ problems and treatments. Some common treatments are Night Guards (occlusal splints) and Bite Adjustments.