Jaw disorders can be caused by grinding, improper bite relationships and damage to the jaw joint. 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 (TMJ) 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.
A common treatment for TMJ and grinding is to wear a custom plastic appliance, called a nightguard, at night. Sometimes a slight adjustment is all that is necessary, and in certain cases, a surgical approach is indicated.