Oral & Vision Health Blog

Teeth Grinding and TMJ: 4 Common Questions About Your Oral Health

Do you ever catch yourself grinding your teeth? Some studies show that up to around 16% of people grind their teeth – and a lot of people do it without knowing it. If you think you might be a teeth grinder, you should consult with your dentist. But what does grinding your teeth mean for your health? Here are some answers to four common questions about grinding your teeth!

  • Teeth Grinding or Bruxism? If you have been researching teeth grinding online, you might have heard the word bruxism used too. Don’t be confused – bruxism is just another way of saying grinding your teeth. The term is often used when talking about chronic teeth grinding (chronic bruxism) or grinding your teeth during sleep (sleep bruxism).
  • Is grinding my teeth a dental condition or a medical one? We can’t stress enough the connection between your oral health and overall health. Grinding your teeth, especially severely, can have a big impact on your health, leading to jaw issues and headaches as well as dental issues such as loose, fractured, or sore teeth.
  • Is Teeth Grinding Linked to TMJ disorders? TMJ disorders are classified as any issue that prevents the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), the jaw muscles and joints that allow you to open and close your mouth, from working properly. Plenty of people with TMJ disorders don’t grind their teeth, but it is a risk factor and can be a direct cause of TMJ. If you grind your teeth and are concerned you have TMJ or might develop it, talk to your dentist and see if you need to consult with a specialist.
  • I only grind my teeth a little - what can I do to beat the habit? Whether you grind your teeth consciously or unconsciously, there are some things you can do to break the habit. The biggest thing is to reduce your risk by reducing your caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol intake – all of which can increase the likelihood you’ll grind your teeth.

Grinding your teeth shouldn’t be taken lightly. But with management and care you can reduce your risk for more serious problems down the road. Be sure to consult with your dentist if you grind your teeth! And if you are looking to get the most out of your dental care, make sure you have the right insurance plan for you with our quiz below!

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