July 27, 2016

Your temporomandibular joint is needed to open and close your jaw. It is usually referred to as the TMJ, and any disorders that develop within it are referred to as a TMD. If this joint starts causing you problems, then you need to see our dentist in Madison, WI. There is a chance the culprit is excessive bruxism or teeth grinding.


Bruxism and Joint Disorders

Bruxism is the more formal term for teeth grinding or clenching. Many people do it when they are feeling stressed. Some individuals even grind their teeth while they are asleep, so they are not even aware they are doing it. Bruxism can lead to problems with the jaw joint because all that stress can lead to the jaw joint being dislocated or the cartilage in the joint wearing out.


How to Tell If You Grind Your Teeth While Asleep

Since you are asleep, you are not going to be aware in the moment that you are clenching or grinding your teeth. If you sleep with a partner, then hopefully he or she will inform you if you are experiencing bruxism while asleep. Other symptoms that indicate you have this disorder include:

  • Waking up with teeth clenched
  • Waking up with overly sensitive gums and teeth
  • Indentations being present on the edges of your tongue or cheek
  • Jaw locking or clicking whenever it moves
  • Chronic snoring


Managing Bruxism

A good way to make your TMJ feel fine once again is to get treatment to target your bruxism. A mouth guard can be prescribed for you to wear at night to reduce the effects of the grinding. Massages and reducing stress throughout the day can also help.


Contact Us

Dr. Chris Stevens is here to help anyone in Madison, WI get better oral health. Call our office to schedule a time to visit so that our dentists can take a look at your smile.



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