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Dental Definition – Parafunctional

    Definition: The term parafunctional refers to a regular or habitual use of a body part to perform activities unrelated to the body part’s main function. For example, teeth grinding would be considered a parafunctional activity, as the main reason we possess teeth and a jaw is completely unrelated to our ability to grind them as a reaction to stress.

    Have you ever had a toothache that just wouldn’t go away? Or had difficulty chewing because of an over-swelling jaw? If you’ve ever suffered from parafunctional habits, you’re not alone. Parafunction is a common problem that affects millions of people around the world, and it’s often the root cause of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). In this blog post, we’re going to explain what parafunction is and why it’s so common. We’ll also discuss the causes of parafunctional habits and how they can lead to TMD. Finally, we’ll provide you with tips on how to address parafunction and get your life back on track.

    What Is Parafunction?

    Do you find yourself clenching your teeth, grinding your jaw, or biting your nails? If so, you may be suffering from parafunction. Parafunction is any activity that puts unnecessary stress on the teeth and jaws and can lead to serious dental problems down the road. Here are some of the most common parafunctions and their effects:.

    Clenching: Clenching teeth together tightly puts unnecessary pressure on the teeth and can lead to tooth wear and jaw pain.

    Grinding: Grinding your teeth together causes them to become worn down quickly and can cause headaches, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, or even a broken tooth.

    Biting: Biting your nails or other hard objects can damage them over time and also lead to tooth wear. In extreme cases, it may even cause a person to lose their teeth!

    Fortunately, parafunctional habits can be treated relatively easily by behavior modification along with the use of mouthguards or splints as needed. If you think that you may be suffering from a parafunctional habit, talk to your dentist immediately for treatment options.

    Causes Of Parafunctional Habits

    There are many different causes of parafunctional habits, and each one can lead to damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw. Some of the most common parafunctional habits include teeth grinding (bruxism), clenching, nail biting, lip biting, tongue thrusting, cheek biting, and teeth touching.

    Bruxism is a habit that many people have – it’s when you grind your teeth at night or in the morning. Clenching and grinding can also lead to headaches, earaches, and TMJ pain. Nail biting, lip biting, tongue thrusting, and cheek biting are all examples of parafunctional habits that can cause damage to the mouth and teeth. Teeth touching is another common habit that can cause damage to the teeth and gums.

    If you’re worried about your parafunctional habits causing damage to your mouth or teeth – or if you just want to be more careful – talk to your dentist about what steps you can take to reduce the risk of injury. They may recommend wearing a retainer during sleep or using a soft-tipped toothbrush instead of a hard-tipped brush when brushing your teeth in order for you chew properly.

    TMD is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is located in the skull between the mandible and temporal bone, and it helps to move your jaw. TMD occurs when the TMJ becomes inflamed, causing pain and stiffness. In many cases, TMD can be treated with orthodontic treatment, splint therapy, and/or surgery. However, parafunctional activity – which is the term used to describe activities that put unnecessary stress on teeth and jaw – is a major risk factor for developing TMD.

    Parafunctional activities are those that put unnecessary stress on teeth and jaw. Common examples of parafunctional activities include teeth grinding (bruxism) and nail biting. These activities can lead to tooth wear, tooth decay, headaches, neck pain, TMJ dysfunction, and other problems. In fact, parafunctional activity is a major risk factor for developing TMD.

    TMD is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the jaw. Treatment for TMD may include orthodontic treatment, splint therapy, and/or surgery. Parafunctional activity is a major risk factor for developing TMD. By understanding how parafunctional activity affects your teeth and jaw – as well as how to prevent it from causing problems – you can take steps towards preventing TMD from developing in the future.


    While bad habits may seem harmless, they can actually lead to serious problems like temporomandibular joint dysfunction. If you think you may be engaging in bad habits, talk to your dentist or doctor so they can help you find ways to break the habit.