The Crux of Bruxism: Don’t Grit Your Teeth and Bare it!
You’re sitting in your car in yet another traffic jam when your head and neck start to ache. You felt fine when you left the office, but now you question when it all started. If this sounds familiar, you might have Bruxism.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition that affects about one in three adults and even many children. It’s when you clench or grind your teeth on a regular basis, whether you realize it or not. Occasionally clenching or grinding is normal, but if done on a consistent basis can cause serious issues.
What are the signs Bruxism?
There are many signs of Bruxism, though you may only exhibit a few. These include:
Constant sore jaw, especially upon wakingHeadacheTooth sensitivity to temperature and sweetnessInsomnia or trouble sleepingEaracheTooth wear
Why do I have Bruxism?
There are many reasons you can have Bruxism. Some use it as is a coping mechanism, while others don’t know they have Bruxism, as it manifests as they sleep. Some reasons include:
Misalignment of teethStressAnxietyEating habitsSleeping habits
How do I fix it?
If clenching and grinding is brought on by stress, a few lifestyle changes will help. Deep breaths and counting to five can have a calming effect. To find the method that works best for you, research stress release techniques.
Other solutions are wearing a mouth guard or splint when sleeping. These should be discussed with your dentist to determine which is the right fit for you.
What if I don’t fix it?
If grinding and clenching continues, your teeth can become loose, fractured, or even lost. This can lead to root canals, crowns, or bridges.
In more severe cases of grinding, teeth can be worn down to stumps and would require all teeth to be pulled for a full set of dentures. Your jaw can also be affected by causing temporormandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) and can even change your facial structure.
Bruxism can be managed or even eliminated if caught in the early stages. The longer it takes to address, the greater the risk of having serious health problems arises. Make an appointment with your dentist today to see if you or a loved one have Bruxism and what options are right for you so it can be fixed before it gets worse.
If you’re in the Washington, D.C. area, call now to make an appointment with us at Georgetown Smile. We would love to help! 202-333-0333.