Bruxism – What Is It & How Is It Treated?
Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of teeth. Oftentimes bruxism is viewed as an annoying but harmless habit, but the truth is that bruxism can cause quite a lot of damage to your teeth and jaws.
Bruxism is caused by stress, anxiety and some sleep disorders. It most commonly occurs when you’re asleep, although it can sometimes happen when you’re awake during times of great stress or anger.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Below are a few of the most common symptoms of bruxism:
- Your jaw is frequently sore
- You hear popping sounds when opening and closing your mouth
- You’re suffering toothaches with no apparent cause
- You’re waking up with headaches or earaches
- You begin to notice small dents around the edges of your tongue.
If bruxism goes untreated for a long period of time, it can severely damage your teeth and jaws. Grinding your teeth together can wear down the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This can cause the teeth to loosen or shift out of place. Bruxism can also cause extreme tooth sensitivity as the enamel wears down and exposes the sensitive nerves underneath. In addition, untreated bruxism can also lead to chronic headaches and jaw pain.
How To Treat Bruxism
While there isn’t a cure for bruxism, you can manage the symptoms. First and foremost, we recommend lowering your stress and anxiety levels. We know this is easier said than done, but through proper therapy and medication, it can be done! In addition to managing stress, you can also wear an appliance known as a night guard while you sleep. Your night guard will prevent the jaws from grinding to clenching together, minimizing the damage done to your mouth.
If you’d like more information on bruxism and how to get fitted for a custom night guard, please contact Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry. Our office is located in Dover, NH!