TMJ Guide

Bruxism & Pain: The Link EXPOSED

Bruxism and pain are often quoted together when talking about some of the common symptoms of the oral condition of Bruxism. Bruxism is an oral condition that exhibits symptoms of teeth grinding and (or) teeth clenching. The intensity and duration of the teeth grinding motions of Bruxism can vary widely in people and the associated consequences vary widely as well.


Is pain a mandatory part of Bruxism teeth grinding?


Pain is not always associated with Bruxism and therefore cannot be said to be a mandatory part of the teeth grinding aspects of Bruxism.


Indeed, most forms of Bruxism pass off without trouble, all by itself. Such types of Bruxism is often seen in cases of children – Bruxism teeth grinding actions are quite common in little children and usually goes away as they grow into their preteens.


Sometimes however, Bruxism persists beyond the initial years and at times exhibit symptoms only in the adult years. Such cases of Bruxism are different and would require a physician’s or dental examination in order to establish the real cause of the Bruxism.


Cases of Bruxism where symptoms are accompanied by other discomfort such as facial pain and headaches or extreme tiredness, call for a medical examination and follow up treatment.


When is Bruxism associated with pain?


The most basic reason for Bruxism and pain to coexist is when the teeth grinding motions of Bruxism are intense enough to directly affect the masticatory muscles. Such types of myofascial pain as it is often described in medical terminology, is triggered by the literal overuse of the facial muscles that are otherwise required for eating purposes. Overexertion of these muscles is caused when Bruxism teeth grinding or teeth clenching action are carried out both during the nights and during the day time as well.


Bruxism pain can be also triggered by some form of abnormality in the jaw joints that cause improper jaw mobility (or upper spinal dysfunction). This could be a reason for the teeth grinding in the first place, or it could also be a consequence of the actions of Bruxism.


 Bruxism pain is also brought on by severe fatigue and stress that Bruxism teeth grinding can potentially cause. Teeth grinding during the nights can also manifest in painful symptoms caused by the resultant condition of sleep deprivation (and subsequent physical and mental strain).


Bruxism pain is often seen to extend to neck and back regions when the condition persists over a long duration. This condition needs to be examined to arrive at a correct diagnosis.

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