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What is Bruxism? During regular dental exams, your dentist likely will check for signs of bruxism. Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding and or clenching of the teeth. Bruxism can wear down tooth enamel, which makes teeth sensitive to food, drink, and teeth brushing. Teeth grinding and also led to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. Teeth grinding can lead to chipping of teeth and damage of restorative dental work. Usually, this is during nighttime and you are usually not aware that you are grinding your teeth. Your dentist will notice signs of bruxism during your routine dental exam. The following will help you learn the causes and symptoms of bruxism and how to prevent it…

Causes for Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching is often related to stress or anxiety. If you are stressed or anxious during the day, you are more likely to experience the effects of the stress at night too, which can cause jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep. Some people get facial pain and headaches, and it can wear down your teeth over time. Teeth grinding is can also be caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Whether a night mouthguard is necessary for your sleep apnea depends on the severity of your condition. Consulting with your physician is important and they may recommend a sleep study to help diagnose and determines the best course of action for treating sleep apnea. Consult with your dentist to see if a night mouthguard is right for you.

Signs and Symptoms You Are Grinding Your Teeth

Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care before it becomes a major problem…

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Jaw, neck, or face pain or soreness
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache starting in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep disruption

How To Prevent Teeth Grinding From Damaging Your Teeth

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, try to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered. If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit. Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.

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About Torbeck Dental

Torbeck Dental treats every patient with dignity and excellent care. We are highly-trained dental professionals with exceptionally friendly and helpful service. We understand that for many, visiting a dentist can be a stressful experience so our comfortable surroundings and compassionate staff will ease any fears you may have. We are here to help you achieve your happiest and healthiest smile! Our dental team are a group experienced professionals using the latest treatments. Our team has the professional experience to realize that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all treatment, so we never use a one-size-fits-all approach to your dental plan. We provide quality and personalized oral health care while keeping your individuality in mind. Our goal is to improve and maintain your oral health so you can smile with confidence!