The Connection Between Bruxism and TMJ Disorder

Your smile is made of many different parts, each of which has to work together with all the others for your bite to function properly. In some cases, one or more issues can affect one or more parts of your bite to cease functioning correctly, or to become overactive and lead to a host of other issues. For example, bruxism (constant teeth-grinding) and TMJ disorder (a jaw joint dysfunction) are often closely related conditions that can cause extensive damage to your teeth, jaw joints and muscles, and more. At our Northeast El Paso, TX, dental office, we can help you address bruxism and TMJ disorder with a custom-designed appliance, and help you regain the proper function of your bite.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the chronic grinding of your teeth, and can be a cause or a symptom of a jaw joint dysfunction. If it isn’t caused by TMJ disorder, then teeth-grinding may be the result of excessive stress, misalignment of your teeth, or anything else that makes it difficult for your teeth to rest comfortably. For many patients, bruxism is most active at night, while they sleep, when they can’t detect it or moderate the pressure of their bite. Left untreated, bruxism can wear down your teeth and make them weak, as well as change the balance of your bite, fracture or break a tooth, or more.

What is TMJ disorder?

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder affects the joints that your lower jaw moves on. TMJs are located on either side of your jaw, and they’re supposed to move together as you bite, chew, and speak. TMJ disorder describes a condition in which one or both of these joints have become damaged or inflamed, forced out of alignment, or injured in any way. The damage to the joint or joints makes it difficult for both of your TMJs to move together, which places undue pressure on both joints every time you open and close your mouth.

How to treat bite dysfunction

The constant pressure of bruxism can sometimes lead to TMJ disorder, and the dysfunction in your jaw joints can sometimes lead to the constant grinding of your teeth. If you exhibit one or both conditions, then we can help alleviate your symptoms and your bite dysfunction with the help of a personalized oral appliance. A custom-designed appliance can protect your teeth from grinding against each other, as well as help your jaw joints relax more comfortably and recover from the excessive stress.

Learn if you need bruxism or TMJ treatment

If you have bruxism and TMJ disorder, then finding relief and restoring your bite’s function could require treating both with a custom-designed oral appliance. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Sunny Smiles in Northeast El Paso, TX, today at 915-581-6688! We also have offices in West and East El Paso, and we happily serve patients from Chaparral, Canutillo, Vinton, and all surrounding communities.