Here’s a short extract of my chronicle on bruxism:

Many individuals complain about jaw pain where the TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) is located, when they open their mouth or when they chew. Sometimes at touch, facial muscles are painful and they are noticeably swollen. In certain cases, the patient may also complain about headaches and sleep apnea.

In general, stress is a main cause, and it is difficult for patients to control the force to use when chewing. Here are some signs which may help to recognize a chewer:

  • Pain felt at the chewing muscles
  • Headaches upon waking up 
  • Crackling or cracking of the TMJ 
  • Mandibular deviation
  • Limited opening of the jaw
  • Developed jaw

The hygienist should proceed with muscular palpation tests to all patients in order to detect abnormalities or sensitivity in the masseter and pterygoid muscles.

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Best regards,

Sylvie Proulx