Bruxism is diagnosed when you frequently grind your teeth. When mild, it probably won't require any treatment. However, if it's severe it can have a negative impact on both your teeth and your jaw so it'll require treatment. If left untreated, it can result in temporomandibular joint disorder (a.k.a. TMJ or TMD).
How Bruxism Contributes to TMJ
First of all, it's important to understand that bruxism doesn't always result in TMJ. However, if you already have this condition or you're susceptible to it, then the likelihood of you developing or aggravating it further is high. This is because when bruxism is left untreated over time it'll change the way your teeth bite down together.
When you excessively grind your teeth, you'll end up pushing them out of their correct position. This can also cause your dental restorations to become damaged. To make up for this misalignment, your muscles will reposition your temporomandibular joints so your teeth can bite down together. This is when jaw misalignment and possible TMJ will occur.
You'll know that you're having this problem because you'll start to frequently get severe headaches. Your jaw, neck, face, and area around your ear will become tender or painful, making it hard for you to open and close your jaw. Obviously, none of this is pleasant or something you want to deal with. Fortunately, you don't have to since there's treatment available to help you with your issue and make you feel better.
Treating Your Bruxism
One of the most important things you can do to manage your bruxism before it results in TMJ is to schedule a comprehensive dental exam with our office. Give us a call to make an appointment. We will examine your mouth and help you find a way to stop grinding your teeth so you can feel your best.