TMJ and Bruxism

Do you grind your teeth? Bruxism, or the clenching and grinding of teeth, can cause a number of oral health conditions that negatively impact patients’ quality of life.

What Causes Bruxism?

Sometimes the cause of bruxism is identifiable because certain behaviours increase the likelihood that you will clench and grind your teeth. Some of these include:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol use
  • Certain drugs or medications
  • Stress
  • A misaligned bite
  • Jaw disorders

In other cases, the cause may not be known. Long-term bruxism can put your teeth, smile and jaw health at risk.

You may not know you have a teeth grinding habit unless a partner or family member notices and tells you. Some indications can be teeth sensitivity, headaches upon waking, and prematurely worn teeth.

Consequences of Bruxism

A nighttime clenching and grinding habit can result in a number of oral and overall health conditions with long-term consequences:

  • Broken, worn or chipped teeth
  • Jaw pain and joint degeneration (TMJD)
  • Headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensitivity to cold foods or beverages
  • Mood disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Facial inflammation
  • Infection due to repeated trauma
  • Bony growths beneath the tongue, called tori

Suffering from a severe bruxism habit can affect day-to-day life. While some at-home practices, such as stress management and lifestyle choices, can improve symptoms, seeking advice from a qualified dental clinician can reduce or eliminate the consequences of teeth grinding.

What Is TMJD?

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction is characterized by jaw pain, clicking, popping, locking or inflammation of the muscles surrounding the joints. Long-term bruxism often leads to jaw disorders, which worsen over time without proper professional treatment and can make eating, yawning and talking painful.

Treatment for TMJ and Bruxism

Dr Karikios will evaluate your condition and organise a treatment plan to relieve symptoms and treat the underlying condition. Treatment varies based on individual needs. Dr Karikios will discuss all of your options so you can make an informed choice.

Common treatments include:

  • Correcting misaligned teeth 
  • Occlusal splint (night guard)
  • Stress management strategies
  • Lifestyle adjustments
  • Occlusal adjustments to teeth or dentistry
  • Repairing damaged teeth

When you trust Dr Karikios and the CDK Dental team with your oral health, looking for signs of a clenching and grinding habit will be part of your comprehensive oral evaluation. If we notice something that requires professional attention, we will let you know right away so you can take action to protect your smile.

Do You Grind Your Teeth or Have Jaw Pain?

We can help. We welcome you to contact us to arrange an evaluation.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, our dental clinic provides convenience for Sydney families. We welcome new patients and are honoured that you are considering us for your dental needs.