Bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders are conditions that have similar symptoms. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, Dr. Jae Seon Kim and Dr. Kim can help you identify which condition you may be suffering from, whether they are linked, and how to treat them.
What are Bruxism and TMJ Disorders?
Bruxism is a nighttime condition that is characterized by teeth grinding. Many people are unaware they clench their teeth at night and so the condition often goes undiagnosed. If left untreated, bruxism can cause chronic jaw pain and permanent teeth damage.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is an umbrella term for a wide range of conditions that affect the two hinge joints that are located just in front of our ears. This condition can lead to jaw pain, headaches problems in moving your jaw, and grating or popping sound when opening or closing your jaw.
Can Bruxism Contribute to TMJ Disorders?
People who grind their teeth while sleeping may not necessarily develop TMJ disorders. However, teeth grinding can place a lot of stress on the jaw which, over time, may cause TMJ disorder or exacerbate an already present jaw discomfort.
Clenching your jaw can exert a pressure of 250 pounds on the surface of the tooth. Considering the fact that normal chewing movement exerts a pressure of only 40 pounds, you can see why bruxism can lead to problems for your jaw joints.
In addition, bruxism can lead to erosion of the enamel over time.
How to Cope With Bruxism to Prevent TMJ Disorders?
Although the exact cause of bruxism and TMJ disorder is not completely understood, we acknowledge that these conditions often have stress-related triggers. If you find out you suffer from bruxism, you need to manage it so that you do not develop TMJ disorder in the long run.
At Pacific Modern Dentistry, Dr. Jae Seon Kim and Dr. Kim can offer you various treatments to treat bruxism, including the use of a customized mouth guard, jaw aligning exercise and working to improve your posture.
Schedule an appointment with us by calling us at (206)284-4505. We can diagnose your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment option for it.
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