Is Bruxism Affecting Your Oral Health?
If you grind your teeth during sleep, which your dentist calls bruxism, you may be doing serious damage to your jaw and your tooth enamel. Teeth grinding is common in adults and children. In fact, dental experts suggest that a third of all children may exhibit the behavior before their adult teeth erupt. If you are experiencing unexplained temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, sensitive teeth, and excessive wear and tear of your tooth enamel, you may be grinding your teeth without realizing it. Untreated teeth grinding can lead to tooth decay and arthritis.
Teeth Clenching and Teeth Grinding Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of teeth grinding include jaw pain, worn teeth, headache, insomnia, anxiety, ear pain or full sensation in ears, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, clicking or popping in jaw (TMJ syndrome), and complaints of grinding noises from bed partners.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Everyday stress causes teeth clenching and grinding in about 70 percent of cases. Whether or not it causes noticeable symptoms depends on a variety of factors such as posture, muscle strength, diet, and the ability to relax. In some cases, the condition may be related to an abnormal bite or malocclusion; this occurs when your top and bottom teeth do not meet correctly. Rarely, teeth grinding may be a side effect of medications like antidepressants and antipsychotics. Since overly vigorous brushing and consumption of acidic foods can also cause excessive wear of tooth enamel, it may be difficult to diagnose the problem through visual evidence alone. An electromyographic study can help identify the muscle movements associated with bruxism.
Treating Bruxism Symptoms
Custom mouth guards can prevent you from damaging your teeth at night, but the most effective way to treat teeth clenching and grinding problems is to address the underlying stress that is causing it. Managing stress may be as simple as getting enough sleep or exercise. Practicing meditation or guided relaxation is also helpful. In severe cases, medication or cognitive behavioral therapy may be required. If your condition is caused by tooth or jaw misalignment, orthodontic treatment can resolve it. Talk to your dentist about treatment options, and stop bruxism from ruining your smile.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Mishawaka, call The Dental Center of Mishawaka today at (574) 285-0460 or make an appointment.
The Dental Center offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Mishawaka. With 4 affiliated practices throughout Indiana, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At The Dental Center of Mishawaka, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at The Dental Center of Mishawaka.