A TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is what connects the lower jaw to the rest of the skull. Think of your jaw as a door, your skull as the doorframe, and the temporomandibular joint as the door hinge. TMJ occurs when the hinge doesn’t close properly.
Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Bruxism most often occurs as you sleep and as a result of stress. That being said, what is the connection between a TMJ disorder and teeth grinding?
Understanding TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorders are when the temporomandibular joint chronically becomes irritated and inflamed. The inflamed joint causes facial pain, difficulty swallowing, difficulty opening your mouth, headaches, and more. The primary challenge of a TMJ disorder is identifying the source of the joint irritation and correcting it. This could be things like arthritis, autoimmune conditions, jaw misalignment, dental issues, or bruxism.
TMJ Disorder and Teeth Grinding
The teeth are one of the first areas looked at while trying to identify a TMJ disorder’s source because of the large connection between TMJ disorders and dental issues. This is because teeth are connected to the jawbone and can heavily affect the amount of pressure being applied to the temporomandibular joint.
Teeth grinding can happen while you’re awake or unconsciously while you sleep. Bruxism can lead to chronic headaches, dental issues, and jaw conditions called temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Bruxism can lead to a TMJ disorder by causing an imbalance in your jaw.
Grinding your teeth can wear down your teeth and create an abnormal bite. As you grind in your sleep, talk, or eat, the imbalance in your jaw can apply extra pressure to your temporomandibular joints. Over time, this extra pressure can lead to irritation and inflammation of those joints.
Seeking TMJ Disorder Relief
Our team at Adler Advanced Dentistry in Boulder, CO, understands the complex nature of TMJ disorders and provides TMJ treatment and neuromuscular dentistry options to identify the root of your TMJ disorder and provide relief.
Whether it’s bruxism, an improper bite, missing teeth, or other dental issues, we’ll provide comprehensive corrective care to help your TMJ disorder. If you’re ready to take the first step towards saying goodbye to your TMJ disorder, contact Adler Advanced Dentistry at 303-449-1119 to book a consultation.