After a thorough comprehensive exam of the TMJ and evaluation of a patient’s medical and dental history, I’ve found nearly 60% of my patients report some form of TMJ pain starting at as young as 7 years old.
The dangers of teeth grinding
The wearing away of enamel from the teeth is an equally concerning matter.
The forces from grinding and clenching can be up to 800 pounds per square inch. This extreme force can cause enamel to break or wear away over time. People with fillings and dental work often come in with broken restorations caused by grinding and clenching. In many cases, their restorations are fairly new and would normally last longer.
Another consequence of lost enamel is that the facial structure begins to collapse. If you’ve ever seen a person with no teeth, they often look sunken and sallow. This same effect can occur over years of grinding and clenching.
Head and neck pain
The final issue of head and neck pain is often overlooked by medical doctors. When a person is grinding their teeth, the muscles in the face and neck area are in spasm. If you were going to the gym for a workout and overdid it…you’d be sore …RIGHT?
The same happens to the muscles of the face and neck, which can manifest as neck pain and migraines.