The Crux of Bruxism
Some patients react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day, or more commonly while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion can harm teeth, muscles, and tissues in and around the jaw. The condition, known as bruxism, can be remedied with a nightguard.
The Facts about Clenching & Grinding
Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, headaches, earaches, surface wear, insomnia, eating disorders, and even depression if left untreated. Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors.
Bruxism is most prevalent in women and generally found in about one-third of the population. Also, individuals who react to stress with anger, pain, frustration, aggression, or competition are most commonly affected. People with bruxism may have other biting habits, such as fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks.
Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth can cause not only the aforementioned symptoms, but can also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck.
A Solid Solution
You can stop this unconscious habit. A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues and muscles. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, our team will repair and treat you to provide complete relief.
One method of treatment is an orthodontic appliance, also called a nightguard or bite splint, to prevent grinding and clenching. Many types of nightguards exist, and patients react differently to the various styles. If one appliance does not work, another may. In many cases, simply wearing a nightguard will eliminate the problem. However, if the condition persists, we can prescribe alternative therapies to correct the issue.
Some practices can relieve symptoms of bruxism, including stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. And, to remain healthy, regular exercise and a proper diet are imperative.
Change Your Smile… Change Your Life. Your health AND your confidence result from an exquisite smile. Schedule today to explore the dozens of options for dazzling teeth. Our serene, spa-like office in Lansing serves Grand Ledge, Holt, Okemos, East Lansing, and neighboring communities with unrivaled personal service for life-changing smiles.