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.
“I just have so much stress at work. I feel like I’m dealing well with it, but I wake up with my jaw sore from grinding my teeth all night. It’s a little embarrassing.”
Don’t let embarrassment stop you from getting bruxism (grinding of the teeth) cared for. If it is allowed to go on, bruxism can wear down your teeth, leading to cracking or breaking. What would be really embarrassing is let bruxism go on when the treatment is so simple. A custom-fit splint (mouthpiece) can be made for you to wear to sleep. It stops you from grinding your teeth all night.
“Are my headaches and TMJ pain all related to bruxism?” You may find the answer is yes, and that these other symptoms go away once you are using your splint from Carpathian Dental on a nightly basis.
“I don’t want to wear an oral appliance at night for the rest of my life.” We understand, and the fact is that once the habit is under control, you may be able to get away with just wearing the splint when you are going through a particularly stressful time. Just remember, you’re going to perform better at work and socially if you sleep better, don’t wake up in pain, and protect your teeth.
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.