Bruxism affects an estimated 30-40 million children and adults in the United States. Some people grind their teeth only during sleep; this condition is called "nocturnal bruxism" or "sleep-related bruxism."
Others, grind their teeth during the daytime as well, most often during situations that make them feel tense or anxious. Severe bruxism can fracture dental fillings or cause other types of tooth damage.
Severe bruxism has also been blamed for some cases of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), mysterious morning headaches and unexplained facial pain.
What is TMJ Therapy?
can have a variety of psychological and physical causes. In many cases, it has been linked to stress, but it can also simply be the body's reaction to the teeth being aligned wrong or a poor bite (the way the teeth come together).
can sometimes occur as a complication of severe brain injury, or a symptom of certain rare neuromuscular diseases involving the face.
also can be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, including antidepressant medications, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil).
The dentist will do a full facial muscle and sometimes a neck exam to find out whether it is the muscles or joints or both causing the pain. A night guard or therapeutic splint might have to be made in order to correct or alleviate the pain.
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