Do your teeth ever feel slightly sensitive when you chew, or do you wake up with a painful jaw? If so, you might be grinding your teeth unknowingly. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a widespread problem that affects many people. Unfortunately, many people affected by this condition are unaware of it. It would help to discuss the causes, indicators, and teeth grinding treatments.
The symptoms of teeth grinding, or bruxism, might differ from person to person. While some individuals may have no symptoms at all, others may experience several of the following:
Jaw joint and muscle discomfort are two typical symptoms of teeth grinding. This can manifest as soreness or sensitivity when you touch the area around your jaw or move your jaw to speak or eat.
Moreover, teeth grinding might result in minor to severe jaw pain. You might experience a dull aching or sudden shooting pain radiating from the jaw to the head, neck, and shoulders.
Grinding your teeth can cause fatigue in the muscles and joints of the jaw. This can make your jaw feel heavy or tired. It can also make it difficult to open your mouth wide or chew properly.
Teeth grinding can cause pain and tenderness in the teeth, mainly when chewing. This can manifest as a sharp pain or sensitivity, making it difficult to eat certain foods or enjoy meals. Teeth grinding can also result in other problems like headaches, earaches, and sleep disruptions.
Many people don’t know they are grinding their teeth as they experience no symptoms. Dentists are able to see the signs and negative effects that teeth grinding can have on your teeth while doing your dental exam.
Signs of teeth grinding include:
Loss of enamel
The causes of teeth grinding can vary. Stress-related issues are often a contributing factor. Individuals who experience high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression may grind their teeth more frequently. Additionally, teeth grinding can also stem from airway issues or sleep apnea. Crooked teeth resulting in an uneven bite can also contribute to teeth grinding.
There are various treatments available for teeth grinding. Custom-fitted night guards are one of the most popular treatments. These are acrylic devices worn over the teeth at night to protect them from the damage of grinding. It is important that these are custom made by a dentist and fitted to ensure an even bite. Many times, people resort to cheaper methods such as over the counter devices, however, this can have a negative impact on the overall health of the teeth and bite when not done correctly.
Orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign or retainers may also help to correct the bite and reduce teeth grinding. Botox injections are also effective in treating muscle pain and tenderness from teeth grinding.
There are contributing factors that both can and cannot be controlled. Certain factors, such as airway problems or malocclusion, are beyond your control, however, they can be treated to minimize the risk of teeth grinding. There are however, things you can do to prevent stress-related teeth grinding. Reducing stress levels through exercise, relaxation techniques, or counseling can help prevent this problem. Avoiding substances like caffeine and alcohol and biting on things like pens or pencils can also help.
Teeth grinding is a significant issue that can result in long-term dental damage and other health problems. To stop more harm, you must comprehend the warning indications, causes, and therapies of teeth grinding. Are you clenching or grinding your teeth? If so, consult your dentist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
For more on teeth grinding, visit Hamlin Modern Dentistry at our Winter Garden, Florida office. Call (407) 993-6370 to schedule an appointment today