How Are Bruxism and TMJ Disorder Connected?

Bruxism and TMJ disorder are not the same condition, and having one doesn’t mean that you have the other, as well. However, both conditions are often closely related to each other, particularly for the ways in which they affect your overall bite function. Bruxism describes the constant grinding of your teeth, in a manner and for a reason that you can’t alleviate on your own. TMJ disorder is a jaw dysfunction that impacts your jaw’s joints and muscles, often caused by excessive pressure being placed on your TMJs and jaw muscles.

The causes and consequences of bruxism

The condition of bruxism is fairly straightforward. It means to constantly and subconsciously grind your teeth together throughout the day and/or night, and it’s often beyond your ability to control it. Yet, unlike many other dental health concerns, there can be many different causes for bruxism to develop. Many of these involve an imbalance in your bite, either from crooked teeth or, in some cases, from a discrepancy in the alignment or function of your jaw joints (TMJs). When it’s left untreated, the constant grinding of your teeth can lead to several different problems, including damage to your TMJs that could lead to the development of TMJ disorder.

The pressure resulting from TMJ problems

When it comes to potential causes and consequences, TMJ disorder can be as complex and bruxism, and sometimes even more so. In addition to having different potential factors in its development, TMJ disorder itself can describe different forms of problems with your jaw joints. For instance, the joints may be misaligned or damaged, the tissues may be inflamed, or more. The pressure that leads to TMJ disorder can sometimes be the result of chronic teeth-grinding. At other times, the imbalance in your jaw joints may cause you to develop bruxism as one of the symptoms.

Treating bruxism and TMJ disorder

The varying and unique natures of bruxism and TMJ disorder make it necessary to address each condition with highly personalized treatment. Fortunately, treating bruxism and TMJ disorder isn’t always as complex as it may seem. For many patients who experience either or both conditions, a solution can be found in a custom-designed oral appliance. The appliance can be worn while you sleep at night and designed to protect your teeth from grinding against each other and/or support your jaws in a way that alleviates pressure on your TMJs.

Learn more about bruxism and TMJ disorder

If you experience bruxism or TMJ disorder, then you may be likely to develop the other as a result if you don’t address the condition as soon as possible. To learn more, call Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234.