Maybe you wake up with headaches in the morning. Or, maybe you have jaw pain or ringing ears. If so, you may be suffering from bruxism, a subconscious grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw that is often done while sleeping. Because of this, people are sometimes unaware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth. Excessive bruxism can lead to a host of oral health problems, such as tooth decay, crown damage, and the loosening of teeth. Although this is something you are unable to control, our Silver City, NM, dental team can help you with a personalized bruxism treatment plan that will help alleviate the pain and set you on a path for good oral health.
What Happens When You Grind Your Teeth
Bruxism is often caused by stress. It can also be caused by alcohol, anger, anxiety, caffeine, fatigue, frustration, pain, sleep apnea, and smoking. Some studies even show that certain antidepressants may trigger bruxism. Whatever the cause, bruxism, if left untreated, can lead to a variety of health concerns. These include, but are not limited to:
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Tooth enamel erosion
- Jaw dislocation or locking
- Interior cheek damage
In addition to headaches, jaw pain, and ringing ears, bruxism symptoms include gums that are sore, facial pain, and tooth pain or sensitivity. Bruxism symptoms, too, can look like other health problems. We here at Silver Smiles can diagnosis the problem and provide proper treatment.
The Benefits of Personalized Bruxism Treatment
During a routine dental exam, we will look for signs of grinding teeth, such as flattened tooth surfaces. Most personalized bruxism treatment involves fitting you with a custom-designed night guard that rests comfortably over your teeth while you sleep. Compared to a mouthguard, the night guard is smaller and more supportive.
How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?
There are some precautions you can take in addition to wearing a night guard to help prevent bruxism. If you feel that stress is a contributing factor, talk with a healthcare provider about ways to reduce stress and to review any medications that may be causing you to grind your teeth. Exercise, physical therapy, and muscle relaxers may also help alleviate bruxism. Other tips include
- Limiting the consumption of food and drinks that contain caffeine
- Avoiding smoking and alcohol
- Avoiding chewing gum
- Being aware of when you clench your teeth
It is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatments and preventative measures.
Halt the Grind!
Everyone deserves to live pain free and have good oral health. If you feel that you’re grinding your teeth and you want to receive a personalized bruxism treatment, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.