Bruxism can be extremely harmful to the integrity of your teeth. Talk to our experts today if you are experiencing the pain and inconvenience of teeth grinding.
Clenching or grinding your teeth habitually is called bruxism. It can happen when you are awake though you may not notice that you are doing it, and it often happens during the night while you are sleeping. Bruxism is common in children and often goes away on its own, but adults can have bruxism too. Bruxism can be caused by anxiety or stress, but it can also be related to your teeth, your bite or your jaws. Some people who grind their teeth do not notice any symptoms, but sometimes bruxism can cause headaches, jaw pain or other symptoms related to temporomandibular joint disorder. Bruxism also wears down your teeth.
If you catch yourself grinding or clenching your teeth during the day or if you have frequent headaches or jaw pain, a dental exam can first rule out other possible causes of these symptoms. If bruxism appears to be the cause of worn teeth or other symptoms, there are steps you can take to prevent clenching and grinding when you are awake, and there is treatment available for nighttime bruxism.
If you tend to keep your teeth clenched or locked when your mouth is closed, try to make a conscious effort to separate your teeth. Avoid gum chewing and snacking on hard foods like nuts and hard candy. If you believe that emotional stress may be a contributing factor, you can learn relaxation techniques, and even physical exercises to relax your jaws.
Nighttime bruxism is especially problematic because it is impossible to consciously control. If you have symptoms like chronic headaches, facial pain, jaw pain, difficulty opening and closing your mouth or popping sounds in your jaws, you may benefit from treatment with a dental appliance called a splint. A splint is a mouthpiece that you wear while you sleep. It prevents your teeth from clenching or grinding, and gently positions your jaws to relieve stress. Splints are also used to treat TMJ disorder.
Bruxism is not dangerous to your overall health, but it can harm your teeth, cause pain and interfere with sleep, which in turn can cause daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating and poor work performance. You can learn more about bruxism by calling us to set up a consultation appointment.