Teeth grinding and temporomandibular joint disorders – craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD)

Craniomandibular dysfunction includes functionally presented disorders affecting the teeth, jaw and muscles.
70-80% of all people process impressions and emotions through the chewing function of the teeth and jaws, mostly completely subconsciously. This occurs during the daytime, as well as at night in the form of grinding and clenching (bruxism). And if the muscles used in chewing, the temporomandibular joint, and the bite, are not working in perfect harmony, the long-term result can be discomfort and functional disorders.
If left untreated, this can lead to the permanent damage of the temporomandibular joint.

1. Effects of grinding the teeth

  • Loss of dental substance through abrasion
  • Exposed tooth necks
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Loosening, shifting and loss of teeth
  • Splitting or cracking of the teeth or dentures (crowns/bridges)
  • Splitting or breaking of fillings


2. Often symptoms do not only affect the teeth themselves, but also other areas of the body

  • Cracking/popping of the jaw joint
  • Restricted opening of the mouth
  • Tinnitus
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Tension in the neck/shoulders
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic obliquity/hip discomfort
  • Knee pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Morning fatigue

1. Incorrect bite

An incorrect bite occurs when the upper and lower jaw do not close together harmonically and functionally. A possible cause can be congenital teeth deformity or unformed teeth. Other possibilities are teeth not being replaced as well as crowns and fillings that are too high or too low, leading to an irregular bite. Another possible culprit is a bite that has not been properly corrected despite orthodontic treatment, and eyeteeth that were not properly guided as a result. In attempting to balance out the misaligned bite, the jaw muscles tighten.


2. Stress

Many people tend to process stress and emotional strain by clenching and grinding the teeth. Studies have shown that teeth grinding does indeed help people to relieve stress, on a subconscious level. The phrase ‘grit your teeth’ may mean to deal with a difficult situation – but this determination comes at the cost of the teeth themselves. After all, the over-activity of the jaw muscles when grinding the teeth exerts an enormous force on the teeth and chewing anatomy: up to 500kg/cm2.

The habit often remains unnoticed for a long period, and if left untreated can lead to a significant wearing down of the natural teeth – in extreme cases by several millimetres.

The basis of CMD diagnostics at the dental practice at Reichenbachplatz is a clinical-manual function analysis (FAL). The case history and clinical parameters of the patient will be compiled in detail, allowing conclusions to be drawn about the functional condition of the chewing apparatus.

After a thorough diagnostic phase, when we take impressions of your bite, we produce a personally customized mouth guard for you. This is not only a protective guard, or a guard against grinding, designed merely to protect the teeth from wear: it is a therapeutic device designed to alleviate and repair the causes of CMD. The purpose of the guard is to regulate the bite; to balance out any existing contact issues; and to bring the lower jaw into a relaxed position. This results in the relief of the jaw and the relaxation of the chewing muscles. It is also important for us to work together with an interdisciplinary network of physiotherapists and osteopaths in order to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Your mouth guard should be worn regularly at night. We will gladly also produce your guard monomer-free, on request. If you are a new patient, and already have a mouth guard, bring it along to your first appointment with us.



Zahnarzt München Zentrum am Gärtnerplatz
Rumfordstr. 5
80469 München


Give us a call
+49 (0) 89 268 415