Grinding

Grinding is something that most people who do it are unaware of.

In bygone times, grinding, or Bruxism, was thought to be caused by stress. In more recent times, it has been identified as a symptom of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), and also linked with sleep apnoea, as something that is done unconsciously during sleep to reopen blocked airways. Over time, grinding damages the teeth and causes sensitivity and decay, possibly leading to permanent jaw pain and damage.

At Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick, we have years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of TMD and have been members of the British Society for Occlusal Studies for over 10 years.

Here are some of the key symptoms of Grinding Clenching and TMD that you should be aware of.

As grinding is something that people prone to it do whilst sleeping, its symptoms can include a ringing or buzzing in the ears; wear and tear on the surface of the teeth; sensitivity of the teeth; teeth that are constantly breaking; fillings that fracture; crowns that work loose; and toothache for no apparent reason. All of these symptoms can be signs of, and exacerbate, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint connecting the lower jaw and skull, which enables you to open and close the mouth, and chew from side to side. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) is the name given to problems with the jaw, and the muscles in the face that control it.

The most immediate signs occur first thing in the morning: a stiff jaw, or tenderness when you bite together. You may also be suffering from severe headaches or neck and shoulder pain; from pain and discomfort on the sides of the face around the ears or jaw joints; or difficulty moving the jaw. You may also notice loosened teeth and receding gums, and occasional prone to tiredness or spasm in the muscles that move the jaw.
‘Occlusion’ is the dental term used to describe the way the teeth meet when the jaws bite together. If the teeth do not fit together properly, this can create problems not only for the teeth but also the gums, the temporomandibular joint and the muscles that control it.