Perhaps you had a particularly irritating commute home from work, and you realize at the end that your jaw was clenched tight the entire time. Or maybe you grind your teeth when you are nervous or anxious about an upcoming business meeting. Most people grind their teeth from time to time, but it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic tooth grinding. Known as bruxism, this condition can lead to oral health problems and dental issues later.
Wambaugh Dental offers cosmetic dentistry near you in The Woodlands, TX. If you are suffering from uncomfortable complications from grinding your teeth, call 281.501.7849 today to learn how we can help.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth. It can occur either during the day or while sleeping. It can cause headaches, jaw pain, and damage to the enamel on your teeth.
Possible causes of bruxism include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Sleep apnea
- Certain medications
- Drinking caffeinated beverages
- Alcohol use
- Misaligned teeth or jaws
- Cigarette smoking
- Hereditary factors
If bruxism is left untreated, it can lead to serious dental problems such as worn tooth enamel, sensitive teeth, broken fillings, chipped teeth, receding gums, and even severe jaw disorders. It can also make it difficult to chew and speak properly. Treatment for bruxism depends on the underlying cause and may include lifestyle changes, medications, or the use of a night guard.
It is important to talk to your dentist if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of bruxism in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. With proper care, bruxism can be managed successfully.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism?
The signs and symptoms of bruxism include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake sleeping partners
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Disrupted sleep for the patient and/or their partner
- Pain in facial muscles, neck, shoulders, and back due to clenching and grinding of teeth
- Tooth sensitivity or gum recession from worn enamel on the teeth surfaces
In severe cases, bruxism can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety, as well as a decreased quality of life. It can also cause irreversible damage to your teeth if left untreated, potentially leading to the need for crowns or dental implants.
How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?
One of the best solutions for reducing nighttime teeth grinding is wearing a mouth guard while sleeping. This device will act as a cushion between your upper and lower jaws and serve to absorb some of the pressure from clenching and grinding. Your dentist or orthodontist can custom-fit you with a mouthguard that is tailored to the shape of your mouth.
If you’re looking for non-invasive methods, relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce teeth grinding. Taking regular breaks from stressful activities during the day and avoiding caffeine before bedtime can also help reduce nighttime clenching or grinding.
Ultimately, understanding what triggers your teeth grinding is key to being able to prevent it. Whether through lifestyle adjustments or physical solutions, there are options available to help you stop grinding your teeth and protect your oral health. If these measures don’t work for you, talking to your dentist about other options may be beneficial.
Learn More About Preventing Bruxism at Wambaugh Dental
If you suffer from bruxism, or grinding and clenching of your teeth, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. At Wambaugh Dental, we understand the importance of preventing bruxism and offer several treatment options that can help you manage this condition. Give us a call at 281.501.7849 or fill out our online contact form to learn how we can help.