You might be under the impression that a sore jaw has more to do with a doctor than a Basildon dentist but the truth is that temporo-mandibular joint disorder (or TMJD for short) can be caused by underlying problems with your teeth. It’s estimated that as many as 30% of the UK population are thought to suffer from TMJD in some form or other. Symptoms include jaw muscle pain, ear ache, discomfort when chewing, plus the increased potential for migraines and headaches; and one of the major causes of TMJD is bruxism (more commonly known as teeth grinding).
Issues with teeth grinding
One of the main issues with teeth grinding is that the person in question might not even know it’s happening. Why? Because in most cases it occurs at night during sleep. More often than not it’s long-suffering sleeping partners that tend to recognise the unmistakeable sounds rather than the person causing them. Although intermittent grinding of the teeth shouldn’t cause the ‘grinder‘ any pain, what it can cause is significant and long-lasting dental damage.
So what causes teeth grinding?
It’s estimated that around 70% of bruxism cases are causes by stress and anxiety. Others involve lifestyle factors such as smoking, caffeine, and heavy alcohol consumption, or sleeping disorders such as sleep apnoea.
What about teeth problems?
The long-term effects of teeth grinding are excess wear and tear on the teeth leading to inflamed or receding gums, tooth breakage or fracture, loose and crooked teeth. Basildon dental clinics such as Felmores Dental Care have specialised departments who can deal with many teeth problems caused by bruxism, so for this reason Basildon residents who believe that they have the symptoms of TMJD coupled with teeth problems, should seek the services of an experienced dentist in Basildon as soon as possible.
What about cure?
The good news is that both TMJD and problems such as teeth grinding can be put right, but firstly the underlying cause has to be dealt with. If a lifestyle change is required then you might find that by making changes yourself such as drinking less caffeine and/or alcohol, stopping smoking, maintaining better sleep patterns, or changing diet, the problems will cease. If the issue is more of a stress related one then your dentist might be able to put you in touch with a professional who can help. The same goes for people suffering with sleep related issues such as sleep apnoea. Whatever the cause an experienced Basildon dentist can help you deal with it.
Finally the treatment
Once the underlying causes of bruxism are realised then if it is this that’s causing TMJD then patients usually find that it disappears quite quickly. As for the after effects of long-term teeth grinding…. well, they’re normally a little more complicated but can involve cosmetic dentistry practices and teeth straightening. Basildon clinics such as Felmores Dental Care however offer a wide variety of treatments that can put your teeth right.
To find out more about TMJD, or any other jaw problems and how it can be affected by your teeth, visit our website at www.felmoresdetalcare.co.uk where you’ll find a wealth of information. Alternatively, if you or your partner suffer from bruxism then contact us on 01268 726 789 for a no obligation consultation where we can discuss your dental options.