If you wake up at night with a sore jaw or your partner tells you that you were grinding your teeth in the middle of the night, you likely suffer from bruxism. Grinding your teeth at night could be a telltale sign for many conditions and warrants a trip to the dentist. Some people grind their teeth due to stress or anxiety while others have a dental issue that must be corrected in order to stop the grinding.
Visit our Office
Even if you think that your reason for grinding your teeth is not directly related to your oral health, you should come see us. During your exam, we will look at your teeth, jaw bones and facial muscles to determine the extent of your grinding and what needs to be done to correct it. If we find that the reason is due to a misaligned bite, crooked or missing teeth, we will come up with a treatment plan to correct the underlying issue. If the grinding does not occur due to your oral health, we can discuss other methods to assist you.
Solutions for Bruxism
No two people will have the same resolution for their teeth grinding. Many people do get fitted with a mouth guard simply to protect their teeth and jaws from damage while they sleep, but the underlying cause still needs to be determined. A few of the most common solutions include:
• Therapy – This could include behavioral therapy if you are suffering from depression or anxiety
• Relaxation techniques – If your bruxism is a result of stress, certain relaxation techniques might help including yoga, meditation, exercise or acupuncture
• Medication – If the problem is severe and therapy and relaxation techniques do not help, muscle relaxants might be prescribed to help your muscles loosen up while you sleep, decreasing the frequency that you grind your teeth
Teeth grinding is nothing to ignore, as the complications could be severe. Some people suffer from chronic headaches and facial pain as a result of their teeth grinding. Others suffer severe damage to their teeth, including chips and fractures, resulting in the need for bridges, crowns and other restorative dental procedures to bring their teeth back to optimal health. If you are told that you grind your teeth or you have sudden facial pain with or without chronic headaches, come in for an appointment to rule out the risk of bruxism or to receive treatment to alleviate your pain.