Impact of Teeth Grinding On Jaw Alignment: How Stress Affects Your Smile
Did you know that teeth grinding can impact more than just your teeth? It can also affect your jaw alignment, leading to potential oral health problems.
As the leading Chandler dentist, Every Smile Chandler wants to share some valuable information on the impact of teeth grinding on jaw alignment and how stress, a common factor for many, can affect your smile.
So, if you’re experiencing teeth grinding, or simply want to learn more about how to take care of the after-effects of teeth grinding, keep reading.
The Connection Between Stress and Teeth Grinding
Stress is a common trigger for teeth grinding, and it’s important to understand how stress affects the body and contributes to this condition. Stress can cause or exacerbate teeth grinding in several ways:
- Increased muscle tension: Stress can cause tension in the muscles of the jaw and face, which can lead to grinding and clenching.
- Heightened arousal: Stress can increase arousal levels, making it more challenging to relax and fall asleep, which can lead to teeth grinding during sleep.
- Altered sleep patterns: Stress can disrupt normal sleep patterns, leading to more frequent episodes of teeth grinding during the night.
The Impact of Tooth Grinding on Jaw Alignment
The jaw is made up of several bones that work together to create the complex movements required for speaking, chewing, and swallowing. When teeth grinding occurs, it puts excessive pressure on these bones and can lead to misalignment over time. Some of the ways teeth grinding affects jaw alignment include:
- Altering the natural position of the jaw joints (temporomandibular joints, or TMJ)
- causing the muscles in the jaw to become tense and overworked.
- Damaging the teeth, which can affect how the upper and lower jaws meet and function together,
How Teeth Grinding Can Cause Misalignment and Other Issues in the Jaw
The force generated by teeth grinding can cause several issues that affect jaw alignment and oral health. Some of these issues include:
- TMJ disorders: Teeth grinding can cause inflammation and irritation in the jaw joints, leading to discomfort, clicking or popping sounds, and restricted jaw movement.
- Uneven tooth wear: The excessive force from teeth grinding can wear down the teeth unevenly, leading to changes in bite alignment that affect jaw movement and function.
- Headaches: The tension and pressure from teeth grinding can cause headaches and migraines, which can further affect jaw alignment and muscle function.
In addition to affecting jaw alignment, teeth grinding can have other negative impacts on oral health, such as cracked or broken teeth, worn-down tooth enamel, tooth sensitivity, and gum recession.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding, such as jaw pain or headaches, it’s important to seek treatment from a qualified dental professional. At Every Smile in Chandler, Arizona, our team of experienced dentists can provide personalized care and treatment options to help address tooth grinding and protect your oral health. Contact Every Smile today to schedule an appointment.