Bruxism is another term for grinding or clenching of the teeth. People with bruxism usually do it unconsciously, and it can happen during the day or during sleep. In severe cases, bruxism can damage the teeth, cause headaches, and affect the jaw joint negatively.
Visit your dental office if you show any signs of bruxism. These can include flattened, chipped or cracked teeth, headaches or facial pain, jaw joint pain, sensitive teeth, or indentations on your tongue. Your partner may even be able to hear you grinding during the night.
There are several possible causes of bruxism, and each individual case is different. Stress is a common cause, as is malocclusion (an abnormal bite). Pain from teething or toothaches can also cause grinding. Some psychiatric medications can cause bruxism. Even simply having an aggressive personality can lead to the condition manifesting.
If you have bruxism, your dentist will most commonly prescribe a mouth guard. Mouth guards are made of a soft plastic, and are usually worn at night. Custom-made night guards are molded to fit over your teeth so they will not dislodge during sleep.
Along with protecting the teeth, mouth guards can also relieve tension on the jaw joint since clenching isn’t possible when you’re wearing it. This can help dissipate headaches and jaw joint pain or tension.
Another treatment option is a dental splint. Splints are made from a heat-cured acrylic resin. They fit over the top or bottom teeth. Splints can be used by both adults and children, though children’s varieties are generally made of a softer material to accommodate the growth of the child’s jaw.
If your bruxism is a result of medication or an existing health problem, you will need to speak with the prescribing doctor about your options. Taking steps to relieve stress or tension can also help eliminate the need to clench or grind your teeth.
If you are experiencing symptoms of bruxism in Grand Prairie, contact The Dental Place at 972-264-5795 and learn how we can help.