Rochester Dentist Discusses TMJ Disorder, Bruxism, and Your Oral Health

Does your jaw click or pop when you move your mouth? Do you ever experience facial pain near your ears for jaw? These are common symptoms of TMJ disorder. You have two temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on each side of your face that connects the lower mandible (jaw) to your cranium. The TMJ moves translationally and rotationally to open and close the mouth.  TMJ disorder occurs when the joints, facial muscles, and connective tissues are strained. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, frequently accompanies TMJ disorder. Our team at Calcagno Cosmetic & Family Dentistry discusses how TMJ disorder and bruxism affects your oral health.

TMJ Disorder & Teeth Grinding

TMJ dysfunction may cause the teeth to grind and scrape against one another unnecessarily because the upper and lower sets of teeth are not properly aligned. Patients that clench and grind their teeth habitually also put their teeth at risk. Although teeth are strong, unnecessary stress and pressure can wear down tooth enamel which ultimately causes permanent enamel erosion. When your tooth enamel is damaged, your teeth are no longer protected from cavity-causing bacteria. When TMJ disorder and/or bruxism go untreated, the teeth—especially the back molars—wear down. Tooth wear then affects a patient’s ability to chew and grind food. Worn down teeth are also susceptible to fracture, decay, and chips.

Restoring Teeth in Rochester

At your routine oral examinations, Dr. Gilly Calcagno will look for signs of tooth wear and TMJ disorder. If she detects signs of bruxism or TMJ disorder, our team may recommend wearing a comfortable oral appliance to protect your teeth from further damage. Dr. Calcagno will also address worn down teeth with restorative dentistry. She may place white, biocompatible crowns, inlays, or onlays to restore the size and shape of your teeth and protect them from further damage.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact our Rochester dentist office at (507) 281-3659. We serve patients from Red Wing, Winona, St. Charles, Hastings, Farmington, and throughout Rochester.