Exploring the Relation of Bruxism and TMJ Disorder

man suffering from bruxism and tmj disorderMillions of people wake up with headaches or sore jaws in the morning, not knowing what is causing their discomfort. Bruxism and TMJ Disorder may be the culprits of this mysterious pain upon waking. Most people are unaware that they brux, or abnormally clench and grind their teeth, while sleeping. This creates tremendous tension and discomfort in your temporomandibular joints, also known as TMJ disorder. Chronic sufferers may experience tension headaches, popping jaw sounds, worn teeth, and other serious symptoms if not treated.


Most people will clench their jaws, or grind their teeth at some point throughout the day. The difference between this and bruxism, is that bruxers habitually, and often unknowingly, clench and grind day and/or night. This constant contracting and relaxing motion of your jaw muscles tends to create fatigue and soreness of the muscles, occasionally compromising your overworked temporomandibular joints. Extended periods of bruxism can lead to anatomic damage such as misalignment of jaw joints, disc damage, and degenerative changes in your joints and teeth.

Available Treatments

If you are suffering from bruxism and TMJ disorder, you should consider seeking treatment to reduce the risk of prolonged discomfort, and rare, but serious complications. Some treatments involve wearing a custom fit mouth guard at night, to protect your teeth from damage associated with bruxing. Although, this does not reduce fatigue on your jaw joints, it could ultimately save your teeth. When it comes to relieving pain in your TMJ’s, the application of ice packs, practicing relaxation techniques, and taking over the counter pain medicine may help. If your pain is severe or persistent, your dentist will advise you on the best course of treatment.

About Your Fort Worth Family Dentist:

Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.