TMJ/TMD Treatment in Milton-Freewater, OR
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is the unconscious gnashing, grinding, or clenching of the teeth. It usually occurs during sleep. This process can grind away parts of the teeth, leaving flattened, worn-down biting edges; fractured enamel; and painful or loose teeth.
Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Jaw or face pain or soreness
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
- Dull headache originating in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Indentations on your tongue
When to see a dentist
- Your teeth are worn, damaged or sensitive
- You have pain in your jaw, face or ear
- Others complain that you make a grinding noise while you sleep
- You have a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of bruxism — be sure to mention it at your child’s next dental appointment.
In most cases, bruxism doesn’t cause serious complications. But severe bruxism may lead to:
- Damage to your teeth, restorations, crowns or jaw
- Tension-type headaches
- Facial pain
- Disorders that occur in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), located just in front of your ears, which may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth.