Smile Consultation: (651) 699-2822

You may have heard your St. Paul TMJ Dentist use the term “bruxism” and wonder what they are referring to. Simply put, it is grinding or clenching of the teeth and jaw. Patients who have TMJ disorder usually develop methods for avoiding the pain associated with TMJ. They may avoid chewy or sticky foods that they know will aggravate the discomfort in their sensitive jaws. 

But there are some habits that they can develop that they are not even aware of. These can really make their TMJ symptoms more pronounced and cause significant discomfort. Here are some basic facts about bruxism, and how it impacts TMJ disorder.

What is bruxism?

The first step is to understand exactly what bruxism is and why it plays such a big part in dental health. Bruxism is a chronic condition that can affect patients of all ages. Patients with bruxism grind and clench their teeth for a number of different reasons. 

When someone is under stress they often carry excess tension in the jaw, face, and neck muscles. This often leads to dental grinding and clenching of the jaw. If your bite is uneven, you may grind your teeth in your sleep without being aware that you are doing so. 

How is bruxism related to TMJ?

Patients with TMJ often find that their symptoms are made worse by bruxism. This is because bruxism, or bruxing, puts great stress on the temporomandibular joint and jaw muscles. You may find that you have a stiff, painful jaw, or that your jaw is making clicking sounds. Some patients even end up with limited jaw mobility. If you’ve already been diagnosed with TMJ problems or bruxism, speak to your doctor about how you can avoid painful complications.

If you suffer with TMJ or believe that you may be grinding or clenching your teeth, contact our St. Paul TMJ Dentist to schedule a consultation. We will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan to alleviate symptoms and maintain a healthy and comfortable smile.  

You may have heard your Highland Park, MN TMJ Dentistry team use the term “bruxism” and wonder what they are referring to. Simply put, it is grinding or clenching of the teeth and jaw. Patients who have TMJ disorder usually develop methods for avoiding the pain associated with TMJ. They may avoid chewy or sticky foods that they know will aggravate the discomfort in their sensitive jaws.

But there are some habits that they can develop that they are not even aware of. These can really make their TMJ symptoms more pronounced and cause significant discomfort. Here are some basic facts about bruxism, and how it impacts TMJ disorder.

What is bruxism?

The first step is to understand exactly what bruxism is and why it plays such a big part in dental health. Bruxism is a chronic condition that can affect patients of all ages. Patients with bruxism grind and clench their teeth for a number of different reasons.

When someone is stressed they often carry excess tension in the jaw, face, and neck muscles. This often leads to dental grinding and clenching of the jaw. If your bite is uneven, you may grind your teeth in your sleep without being aware that you are doing so.

How does bruxism affect TMJD?

Patients with TMJD often find that their symptoms are made worse by bruxism. This is because bruxism, or bruxing, puts great stress on the temporomandibular joint and jaw muscles. You may find that you have a stiff, painful jaw, or that your jaw is making clicking sounds. Some patients even end up with limited jaw mobility. If you’ve already been diagnosed with TMJ problems or bruxism, speak to your doctor about how you can avoid painful complications.

If you suffer with TMJD or believe that you may be grinding or clenching your teeth, contact the Highland Park, MN TMJ Dentistry office to schedule a consultation. We will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan to alleviate symptoms and maintain a healthy and comfortable smile.  

When addressing chronic dental grinding for our patients the Highland Park, MN TMJ Dentistry office provides various potential options for treatment. We want to help you find the most effective method that is suitable for your specific needs, providing a long-term solution to chronic dental grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching.

Cost Saving Options


We know that our patients are looking for the best solution to their problem that is also the most cost effective and fits their budget. When treating tooth grinding or clenching, patients may only be concerned with the bottom line. This is certainly understandable, but you really also need to consider the quality of the results achieved at Highland Park, MN TMJ Dentistry versus those of store-bought remedies. Here are some things to keep in mind before purchasing mouth guards from your local pharmacy or supermarket.

  • Since mouth guards purchased over the counter are not custom-fit, they often slip and shift during the night. Unfortunately this may cause more problems than it solves.
  • Mouth guards purchased from your local pharmacy are just not very durable. If you persistently grind your teeth you will likely need to replace the mouth guard frequently.
  • Mouth guards only reduce the symptoms of bruxism. They do not cure it.

Effective Alternatives The most effective treatment for you might include a custom appliance, stress relief, dental restorations, or some combination of these treatments. Whichever option we decide best suits your needs it will prevent any further damage to your teeth due to grinding or clenching. It will also gradually train you to be aware of the habit. This in turn will decrease your tendency to do so. The goal is to eventually eliminate the problem causing your bruxism. In the long-term the best solution is one that solves the underlying problem and doesn't just reduce symptoms.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of teeth grinding (bruxing) or jaw clenching, please contact our office. We will schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and the best treatment options for you.


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