If you often find yourself clenching your jaw during the day or wake up with a sore jaw, sensitive teeth, or headache, you may be suffering from teeth grinding. This common condition affects both adults and children.
Grinding your teeth once in a while is not bruxism, but when it happens regularly, it may have harmful effects on your teeth, jaw muscles and may also hurt your temporomandibular joints.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
There may be many causes of teeth grinding. In some cases, it is the result of your lifestyle habits like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and consuming excessive caffeine. According to a study, regular smokers and drinkers are twice at risk of developing bruxism over others. Other causes of teeth grinding include sleep disorders, stress, and anxiety. In some cases, bruxism is also the result of taking certain medications, particularly anti-anxiety medications.
What Are the Symptoms of Teeth Grinding?
The symptoms of bruxism may vary. Sometimes, you may not even realize that you are suffering from the problem. Some of the most common symptoms of teeth grinding include headaches or pain in your face, especially during the morning, pain in the ear, disrupted sleep patterns, sore jaw muscles, and worn teeth.
Other symptoms of teeth grinding include loose or painful teeth, fractures in your teeth, TMJ disorder, pain while eating, locking of your jaw either open or closed, and clicking or popping your jaw.
How is Teeth Grinding Treated?
When you visit our office for the treatment of this condition, we could recommend the use of a nightguard. It is a customized orthodontic device that you wear while sleeping. A night guard protects your facial muscles, teeth, and TMJs from the force created as a result of the grinding of teeth. We could also suggest you a muscle relaxant to relax your muscles.
Apart from this, we will try to find out the exact cause of your condition. If your bruxism occurs because of stress, we will provide you with different means to reduce your stress. It includes cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy, exercise, and medication.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes to control teeth grinding.
- Reduce the consumption of caffeine in drinks and foods.
- Keep your lips lighter and teeth slightly apart so that you may reduce the instances of teeth grinding yourself.
- Stop chewing on non-food items like pens and pencils. Avoid chewing gum.
Please reach out to iTooth Family Dentistry in Springfield, MO, to have a consultation with our dentists, Dr. Robbins or Dr. Fincel. Call Dentist in Springfield MO at (417) 883-8515 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.