TMJ medical abbreviation of temporomandibular joint. TMJ letters surrounded by human skull with lower jaw, neurological hammer and radiographs. Concept of anatomy, pathology of temporomandibular jointWhile there are a number of factors we can control when it comes to our grins, there are also factors that we have no influence over. Indeed, having a misaligned smile is one of the former situations, as corrective measures can help guide your teeth in an optimal position. Chronic teeth grinding is similar in that it can be managed, but requires the use of additional treatment to do so. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist takes a look at the influence bruxism has on our health and how it can lead to jaw dysfunction.

Incessant Grinding

Believe it or not, the act of grinding one’s teeth is often an effort our body makes to regulate breathing while we rest. As an individual grinds, he or she clenches their teeth together tightly and moves the lower mandible from side-to-side. The result is the tightening of the throat muscles in an effort to widen the airway.

Bruxism is the result of the body responding to a blocked airway, which means that it is also a sign of a bigger concern. It can mean that you are experiencing a sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea, or it could be due to outside stressors and heightened levels of anxiety. If you are interested in learning more about the causes of bruxism, reach out to our team today.

In addition to the major concerns it can cause, teeth-grinding can lead to the wearing down of your oral structures. This not only makes them weaker and more susceptible to damage, but increases your chances of infection as well.

Jaw Misalignment

Another major concern that arises with incessant grinding includes developing a jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. Your lower jaw hinges upon two main joints to connect it to the cranium. These joints are known as your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. When an individual grinds their teeth, their chances of their jaw misaligning with the joints increases drastically and results in TMJ disorder.

Common side effects or symptoms of this phenomenon include a popping or clicking in the jaw, difficulty opening the mouth, pain, and soreness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please do not hesitate to reach out today.

Increased Chances of Tissue Damage

In addition to the side effects, TMJ disorder also can cause significant damage to your jaw and tissues. As your mandible attempts to correct itself, it can result in tearing and damaging of tissues, and is the primary cause of the click you may feel. To help attend to this issue, we will utilize splint therapy to help carefully guide the mandible back into the socket.

Learn More Today

Contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 to learn more about the dangers of bruxism or schedule your appointment today.