Nocturnal teeth grinding and clenching is a condition referred to as sleep bruxism that has more consequences for your health than you’re aware of.
The latest research from the Medical University of Vienna suggests that different tooth shapes & locations could lead to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) problems due to this issue.
To learn about how nocturnal teeth grinding is affected by your tooth locations and angles including what you should do if you are suffering from nocturnal teeth grinding read the rest of our blog.
What is Nocturnal Teeth Grinding?
This occurs when you clench your upper and lower jaws together while you’re asleep. In dental science, many professionals at the Medical University of Dentistry also believe that sleep bruxism leads to TMJ dysfunctions.
What do I need to know about Nocturnal Teeth Grinding?
Approximately, 15% of the population grind their teeth while they sleep, especially in younger people who are trying to learn to manage the emerging stressors of life.
The increased amounts of pressure that are placed on the tooth surfaces and haws leads to dental problems far worse than the simple sore jaw muscles and headaches.
Lead researcher Benedikt Sagl at the university revealed that sleep bruxism will have a negative impact on the structure of your TMJ due to the varying tooth shapes & locations while grinding that can overload the joints mechanics.
Why do our teeth’ locations and angles matter?
The studies that were conducted used a state-of-the-art computer model that showed the bone, cartilage, and muscle structures of the jaw. From this imaging, two factors were discovered that are connected to bruxism in relation to the tooth angles and location.
1. The shape of the affected tooth and the angle of inclination are in an unnatural position during grinding
2. The location of the tooth during the dynamic grinding motion as seen in twelve simulated scenarios to show the effect of lateral grinding (all having an impact on the molars and canine teeth)
The study revealed a clear relationship between the tooth’s angels & locations because of their influence on the strength of the load being placed on your TMJ joint.
Benedikt Sagi said “However, it would appear that the decisive factor is the steepness of the grinding facet. The flatter the tooth, the higher the loading on the joint and therefore the higher the risk of a TMJ disorder.”
Further research will certainly be conducted but the overlying takeaway from this study is that we’re placing too much pressure on our TMJ.
How can our London, Ontario Dental Clinic help?
At Sbenati Dentistry we know that bruxism is on the rise due to the increased stressors being placed on us each day, and we want to help you protect your teeth.
The best way to do this is with a custom-made bruxism night guard, that will both protect your teeth and relax your jaw, and reduce the mechanical load that has been getting placed on your TMJ before it becomes a serious problem.
If you’d like to learn more about why a bruxism night guard can help you sleep better while also correcting TMJ misalignment, jaw pain, headaches, and your teeth being worn down click here: