Attrition is the loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces from opposing teeth. Attrition initially affects the enamel and, if unchecked, may proceed to the underlying dentin. Once past the enamel, attrition quickly destroys the softer dentin. Erosion is a very important contributing factor to the loss of tooth substance by attrition. (A. Johansson et al. 2008)
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The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the lower jaw, or mandible, to the temporal bones at the sides of the head. These joints are flexible and allow the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side enabling us to talk, chew and yawn. TMJ dysfunction involves facial pain, clicking sounds in the TMJ and restricted movement of the jaw. It is otherwise known as tooth grinding.
Bruxism or tooth grinding and clenching is a common problem that afflicts many of us at different stages throughout our lives. Bruxism is often stress related. Under certain circumstances alteration to the occlusion of the teeth (ie after a filling is placed) or after a traumatic injury to the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint or TMJ) can cause bruxism and lead to the classic signs and symptoms of this condition.
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