Do you wake up with or experience in the daytime:

  1. A tight jaw or sore face

  2. Worn teeth

  3. Gum recession

  4. Sore teeth

  5. TMJ Pain

  6. Sore ears

If yes, bruxism (grinding), sleep apnea, or TMJ dysfunction may be the cause.  Over time, bruxism can cause worn teeth, gum recession, or even cracked teeth.


Worn and Damaged Teeth with Gum Recession Due to Bruxism

Three common reasons for bruxism are:

  1. TMJ issues and teeth problems. This correlates to the teeth not lining up properly which can create a misaligned jaw.  Overbites, underbites, and even past orthodontic treatment can fit in this category.  Other causes are mouth breathing issues that cause multiple issues with improper jaw development and can lead to TMJ pain too. This is like driving a car out of alignment and the tires wear out prematurely

  2. Airways issues and/or sleep apneaMany times patients will brux in an attempt to open the airway for oxygen.  When people lie on their back, the tongue falls further back and further blocks the airway. 

  3.  Other medical conditions.  Certain prescription medications can cause bruxism as well as dry mouth.  Gastric acid reflux is another issue that facilitates faster breakdown of the teeth and more wear due to the acid destroying the enamel.  This loss of enamel often leads to TMJ pain as well as worn teeth. Gastric acid reflux can also be caused from airway issues.

  4. Stress and Anxiety. This can exacerbate pre-existing issues.  Some patients have issues such as misaligned jaws or bites that when grinding makes things worse.

There are several treatment options available to help correct the problems listed above.  In many cases non-surgical jaw alignment or non-surgical jaw development procedures can correct these problems. Other times TMJ treatment or even a nighttime appliance can help.  For those with sleep apnea, often an oral appliance can be used in place of a CPAP machine. 

If you have any questions regarding Houston TMJ treatment or Full Mouth Reconstruction, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289.

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Houston Cosmetic Dentist Serving Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Pearland, & Nearby Areas of Texas
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