TMJ Guide

Jaw And Neck Pain From Bruxism:
The Connection REVEALED

Jaw and neck pain from Bruxism can be occlusal in origin or of organic pathology. An accurate diagnosis is most important before taking corrective measures to find relief from Bruxism pain.


Jaw and neck pain associated with Bruxism


Bruxism is an oral condition that manifests in teeth grinding and (or) teeth clenching. This condition is usually associated with night time teeth grinding during sleep, but Bruxism can occur as a diurnal symptom as well.


Mostly, Bruxism exists as a common phenomenon in children who outgrow the condition as they grow up. Sometimes Bruxism is accompanied with pain which could be related to or caused by several factors. Bruxism is a multifactorial condition and can have many causal factors associated with it. Pain associated with Bruxism can originate from conditions that are as wide ranging as a jaw disorder or stress related conditions. Sometimes the pain itself (arising due to another unrelated factor) can cause Bruxism teeth grinding symptoms to appear. Myofascial pain is triggered by the literal overuse of the facial muscles.


Such types of pain usually exhibits typically as severe jaw pain (many times accompanied with neck and shoulder pain) on waking up from night sleep. This type of pain could be one sided or it can appear to be on both sides of the face.


Jaw and neck pain from Bruxism


Bruxism related pain that manifests as jaw and neck pain can be triggered by the following:


  • Chronic Bruxism resulting in jaw and neck pain because of the constant teeth grinding motions (the Bruxism itself could be brought on by several factors)
  • Teeth grinding triggered by stress and anxiety often cause enough tension in the jaw muscles to cause severe pain in the jaw and neck areas of the body
  • Jaw bone dysfunction or mal adjustment causing teeth grinding actions and pain thereafter
  • Upper spinal cord dysfunction or cervical problems creating pain in the neck as well as shoulder regions. Such pathological origins can cause Bruxism teeth grinding and associated pain
  • Injury or inflammation can sometimes lead to jaw joint disorder or ear problems, triggering Bruxism as well as pain
  • Sometimes abdominal problems are known to trigger Bruxism and the resultant pain after long term teeth grinding habits

Seeking relief from Bruxism pain:


  • Holistic and multidisciplinary approach to finding out the root cause of the Bruxism condition
  • Exercises to relax the jaw muscles
  • Stress reduction / relaxation techniques

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