Do I Have Bruxism or TMJ? What To Know

Bruxism and TMJ can both cause jaw pain, so sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re experiencing one or the other. In fact, sometimes one of these conditions can cause the other to occur! If you’re suffering from problems like jaw pain, your dentist in Salina, KS can help you determine whether you’ve got one or both of these conditions. 

What Is TMJ?

TMJ – also called TMD – is an acronym that stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ occurs when a misalignment of the jaw causes pain that radiates out of the joint, which is located in front of the ears and connects the lower jaw to the skull. 

Symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Dizziness
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Insomnia

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a term that medical professionals use to refer to the act of grinding the teeth at night. People who grind their teeth at night often don’t know that they’re doing it, but some people even do it during the day without being aware. Bruxism can be caused by TMJ, snoring, stress or anxiety.

Symptoms include:

  • Sensitive, worn teeth
  • Chips or cracks in the teeth
  • Jaw pain and tired jaw muscles
  • Headaches
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Sleep interruptions

How Are These Conditions Connected?

TMJ and bruxism have overlapping, similar symptoms. In addition, people who suffer from TMJ sometimes grind their teeth as a result of this condition.

To find out if you have one or the other of these conditions, it’s important to see your dentist for help. At The Fine Art of Family Dentistry, we provide TMJ treatment in Salina KS. To learn more about how we can help, call today to make an appointment. 


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