People who grind their teeth can sometimes develop a serious problem with their jaw, which left untreated, can adversely affect the teeth, gums and bone structures of the mouth. One of the most common jaw disorders is related to a problem with the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull, and allows your upper and lower jaw to open and close and facilitates chewing and speaking.
People with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) often have a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing their mouths. Such disorders are often accompanied by frequent headaches, neck aches, and in some cases, tooth sensitivity, ringing in the ears, dizziness, fainting, pain in the arms and hands, difficulty swallowing.
Treatment for TMD includes wearing a small custom fit, plastic mouth piece during the daytime on the lower teeth to stop the clenching and popping more when the patient opens and closes. Also, treatment frequently involves the wearing of an upper custom guard (only worn at night) to prevent the clenching and damaging of teeth by grinding.