Grinding your teeth?
The main cause of Teeth Grinding and Clenching (Bruxism) are stress. People often take out their worries, fears and stress subconsciously, while they sleep, causing the muscles and joints associated with the mouth to become strained and over-worked. These muscles can go into spasm, and the joints can become inflamed and result in pain of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Teeth clenching and grinding can also result in the loss of enamel, teeth sensitivity causing the eventual need for root canal therapy and crowning. When tooth structure is lost, the bite collapses, resulting in the face to develop an older appearance. Grinding can also cause teeth to crack and sometimes to fracture if severe, When the bite is off, the muscles and joints can become strained, resulting in joints problem and jaw pain. When this happens neck problems and headaches can arise, and one’s posture can become affected. Keep in mind that a lot of force can be exerted by the chewing muscles.
The signs and symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- grinding sounds while asleep
- Frequent headaches
- Jaw joint clicking or pain
- Sore teeth – particularly upon waking
- Stiffness or aching of the face and temples upon waking
- Stiffness or aching in the jaws while chewing – particularly during breakfast
- Clenching the jaw when anxious, angry or concentrating
- Teeth sensitivity
- Cracked or chipped tooth
- Tooth indentations on the tongue
- Rubbing and irritation of the cheeks caused by cheek biting
How can you stop an unconscious habit? A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we’ll create a custom made appliance, also called a nightguard or splint, that will help to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching.
Some practices that can relieve symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, treatment may be required to restore the teeth.
How can you stop an unconscious habit? A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles.