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Q. Will bruxism lead to occasional dull jaw pain and teeth wear?

Answered by
Dr. Beryl Fredrick
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 09, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have been having a little bit of jaw pain from time to time and also a dull pain in different teeth at different times. I suffer from bruxism and have a custom dental night guard. But for the last month, I am feeling pain as if I am grinding at night. The dental guard split in half but it still fits perfectly. The infrequent systems started before this split. What could be happening? I try to be conscious not to clench or grind during the day, but two weeks ago the dull pain in my molars required me to take Advil. What could be happening? I hope it is not wearing my teeth further. I am more concerned with this than the pain.



Welcome to

I understand your concern. This could be a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issue. Temporo Mandibular joint is the jaw joint between the upper jaw and the lower jaw and involves multiple and complex structures like a disc between two jaws, chewing muscles, and the joining bone structure. A complete TMJ and dental evaluation should be done to determine what is causing your jaw pain and bruxism. Bruxism is not a condition, but one of the main symptoms of a TMJ disorder. It could be because of:

1. Tensed chewing muscles

2. Disparity in the disc

3. Changes in jaw bone structure.

Other than TMJ issues it could be due to:

4. Psychological stress

5. Misaligned teeth

6. Multiple dental treatments

7. Recent dental injury or infection.

Visit a TMJ specialist to identify the cause. Initially, a splint similar to your night guard (called deprogrammer appliance) will be suggested as a diagnostic appliance to identify the cause. Once the cause is determined, the treatment depends on it.

I hope this helps.

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