Bruxism is the technical term for grinding or clenching your teeth and jaw. It can happen for various reasons, but typically it is related to stress or tension in your everyday life. As a result, it is common for bruxism to occur during sleep.
Many people who experience bruxism do not even realize it until a dentist gives them a professional diagnosis. Others notice chipped teeth after waking up one morning after being asleep all night. Some people feel pain from their teeth grinding, but others do not even realize that they are doing it unless they are told by someone else. To you, it may just feel like a bad habit you have never been able to break.
In any circumstance, it can be essential to understand how this habit can impact your oral health so you can take the proper steps to protect your mouth. Visit Valenta Dental, for the best dental care possible.
Symptoms of Bruxism
The most common symptoms of bruxism are broken or damaged teeth and chronic headaches. For people who grind or clench their teeth during the day, there may be visible damage to their smile, including worn-down enamel and other tooth damage.
In addition to causing damage to your teeth, bruxism can cause problems for your facial, neck, and jaw muscles. You may also notice tension in your muscles when stressed or tensed up. You may grind your teeth unconsciously while you sleep or do it during the day while you are consciously awake.
Causes of Bruxism
- Bruxism is often associated with stress, anxiety, or tension. It can be a subconscious response to emotional or psychological factors.
- Misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite can contribute to bruxism.
- Bruxism can be associated with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or snoring.
- Certain lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or using stimulants can increase the risk of bruxism.
Treatment for Bruxism
Mouthguards or Splints
A standard treatment approach involves wearing a custom-fit mouthguard or splint during sleep. These devices provide a cushioning effect, protecting the teeth from the forces of grinding or clenching and relieving jaw muscle tension.
Stress contributes to bruxism, so stress management techniques can help reduce the habit. This may include relaxation exercises, meditation, counseling, or lifestyle changes to minimize stress.
Identifying and addressing bruxism's underlying causes and triggers can be beneficial. Stress and anxiety are common contributors to teeth grinding, so stress management techniques, relaxation exercises, and behavioral therapy may help reduce bruxism episodes. Avoiding stimulating substances like caffeine and alcohol before bed can also be helpful.
It's essential to consult with our dentist if you suspect you have bruxism or experience any related symptoms. They can evaluate your condition, determine the underlying causes, and recommend appropriate treatment options to alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw muscles. For more information, visit Valenta Dental at 1838 Dunlap Ave, Marinette, WI 54143, or call (715) 735-5626.