It’s an extreme case, but it shows just what can happen if you’re grinding your teeth. A British businesswoman was so worried about the loss of her businesses in the Great Recession that she ground her teeth until she couldn’t open her mouth anymore and eventually had to have her jawbone replaced with titanium.

Tooth Grinding Leads to Muscle Spasms

If you grind your teeth, you’re probably aware of the consequences. Sore teeth, worn teeth, jaw pain, and sore muscles. You may even have experienced muscle spasms that can come along with tooth grinding.

What you may not have realized is that these muscles spasms can become permanent, a condition known as muscle dystonia. Essentially, the nerves controlling your bite muscles receive such intense, and sustained stimulation that they decide to clench permanently. That’s what happened to Toni Lovell-Clark, the businesswoman who lost both her sandwich shops in the Great Recession.

Unable to open her mouth, she had to eat through a feeding tube. The muscle contractions caused so much damage to her jaws that she had to have them replaced with titanium implants. These are not your typical dental implants that replace a missing tooth, these are jaw implants designed to strengthen her jaw so it wouldn’t be destroyed by her muscle contractions. Then she had to have her jaw wired shut until her muscles were relaxed enough that she could use them without having them spasm.

Talk to a Neuromuscular Dentist about Tooth Grinding

If you’re finding yourself grinding your teeth, whether it’s for stress or any other cause, it’s important to see a neuromuscular dentist sooner rather than later. By intervening with TMJ treatment the early stages of dysfunction, it’s usually possible to head off major problems such as those faced by Ms. Lovell-Clark.

If you are looking for a neuromuscular dentist in Columbia, SC, then Smile Columbia Dentistry is for you. Both our dentists are LVI Fellows, two of only 8 in the state, and the only ones in the Columbia area. Please contact us today for an appointment.