What Is Bruxism and How Is It Treated?
Bruxism is the correct term for clenching and grinding your teeth. This is often a nocturnal habit that can be extremely destructive, causing damage to your teeth and gums and also to your jaw joints. In the worst case it can cause a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. The problem with bruxism is that often people aren’t aware they have this condition unless perhaps a sleeping partner has complained their teeth are making a noise, as grinding can sound pretty loud. However there are a number of symptoms that can arise as a result of bruxism and which include:
- Noticing you wake up with an aching jaw or toothache
- Your teeth may feel more sensitive to hot and cold because grinding wears down the tooth enamel protecting them
- Teeth may look shorter than before as they become worn down or they may even look chipped or cracked
- It might be painful to open your jaw and as you do so it could make a clicking or popping sound
- Sometimes it’s possible for bruxism to cause chronic headaches or other facial pain that can extend down into your neck and shoulders
If you think you may have bruxism then it’s important to take action and to book an appointment with our dentist in Watton so we can take a look at your teeth and jaws to assess the problem.
What Causes Bruxism?
It’s not exactly clear what can cause bruxism to develop but often it can be stress-related and a simple way to help this condition is to reduce stress levels. However bruxism can also be caused by problems with your bite as if your teeth meet together incorrectly it can end up placing stress on some teeth. These are all things that we will be looking at when you visit us for a diagnosis and treatment.
How Can Bruxism Be Treated?
This depends on the cause as if your bruxism is due to bite problems then it could be you need to see an orthodontist in Watton or otherwise we may need to renew any old fillings or other dental restorations such as crowns or bridges that might be causing the problem. If this isn’t the case then a very straightforward way to treat bruxism is to prevent your teeth from biting together during the night. We can do this by providing you with a custom-made mouthguard that will be comfortable to wear and which is likely to fit over your upper teeth. It is made from a tough plastic material and will prevent you from clenching and grinding so your jaw can relax during sleep.
If you think your bruxism may be related to stress, then it’s probably worth taking action if you can to try to bring down your stress levels, perhaps by taking regular exercise such as yoga or even meditating, or having a hot bath or a soothing warm drink before bedtime. Once your bruxism is under control, then we can look at repairing any damage to your teeth.
If you woke up with tooth pain this morning or an aching jaw then please get in touch with Clarence House Dental Care as we can help you. Contact us on 01953 882777 to talk to our friendly dental team.