If you’ve been experiencing jaw pain, headaches, and broken teeth it may be because you are grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common disorder experienced by an estimated 10% of adults and 15% of children.
Let’s explore the signs of teeth grinding and how you can stop grinding your teeth.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can become a major problem when it comes to your oral health. Not only does it cause jaw pain and headaches, it can also cause damage to the teeth that is often irreversible. There are several reasons that a person grinds their teeth. Some are easily rectified, while others may not be so easy to control.
Common symptoms of bruxism include:
- headaches and facial pain
- jaw tenderness
- notches or indentations on the gum line of teeth
- gum recession
- tooth damage
- fractured teeth
- worn tooth enamel
- loose teeth
- temporomandibular joint disorder
There are several reasons that a person grinds their teeth. Some are easily rectified, while others may not be so easy to control. To effectively treat bruxism, it’s important to understand the cause.
Stress Can Cause Teeth Grinding
Stress causes muscle tension throughout the body, particularly in the jaw. Teeth grinding can be the result of a person continually clenching the jaws or tightening the muscles in the face and neck. The more stress a person faces, the more likely they are to experience teeth grinding on a regular basis.
Relaxation techniques such as listening to music, deep breathing, meditation, hot baths, or drinking herbal tea may be used to help calm the body and mind and allow you to get a better night’s sleep without grinding.
If relaxation techniques don’t work, your dentist may fit you with a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding while you sleep. Your dentist will evaluate the damage the bruxism has caused and repair the damage, if necessary. Then, a custom-fitted mouthpiece, also referred to as a splint or night guard, can be made, which keeps the teeth from touching and grinding.
Abnormal Bite Patterns and Missing Teeth
Stress is often the cause of bruxism, but crooked teeth, an uneven bite or malocclusion can also cause bruxism. Abnormal bite patterns and missing teeth that cause the jaws to continually slide or shift out of place may also result in grinding of the teeth. Unlike stress which often requires the use of a mouth guard, abnormal bite patterns may be adjusted through the use of braces or appliances that gently shift the teeth back into alignment. Dental implants can be used to help re-establish proper alignment when teeth have been lost or damaged.
Finding and treating the cause of the teeth grinding will help to protect the surface of your teeth, as well as allow you to get a better night’s sleep. Once it has been determined that you are grinding your teeth, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent any further damage. Common treatments for Bruxism include a night guard (made by a dentist), Botox, and therapy.
At Ultimate Smile Design, your dental health is important to us. If you are grinding your teeth and are experiencing complications as a result, please visit us in our Palm Bay, FL office. We’ll help you restore your smile while preventing teeth grinding.
Related article: That Pain in Your Jaw Could be From Bruxism