Have you ever woken up with a headache or unexplained jaw pain? Does your jaw pop and click when you open and close your mouth or chew food? If so, you may be suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Many people grind their teeth when they are angry or stressed, some do it unknowingly while they are asleep.
Over time, these actions can wear on your mouth and cause permanent damage if they are not properly addressed. This post will help you identify the signs of bruxism and learn about the available treatment options we have at our dentist in Royersford, PA!
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is simply the medical term for a teeth grinding condition, which refers to an oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most humans at some point in their lives. In addition to teeth grinding, jaw clenching is also a common characteristic of this condition. As mentioned, this condition often occurs during sleep. Learn more about bruxism here.
Signs You May Need Bruxism Treatment
Bruxism needs to be treated as soon as possible due to the fact that teeth grinding can lead to severe dental issues. Because this condition does typically happen while you are sleeping, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you have bruxism. Below, we put together a few signs to be on the lookout for that indicate you need to seek teeth grinding treatment.
Teeth Pain, Jaw Pain, or Facial Soreness
Bruxism can strain and put stress on your jaw and facial muscles, causing them to become inflamed. This may cause your jaw to hurt or feel very stiff in the morning. Your teeth or face may ache, too. This type of pain can make it difficult for you to open your mouth or chew. You may hear a clicking or popping sound when you talk or chew, which may be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder. Bruxism can also cause earaches, tinnitus, and in extreme cases, hearing loss.
Waking Up With Headaches
When you repeatedly grind your teeth at night, the amount of pressure placed on your jaws as well as your facial muscles can trigger headaches when you wake up in the morning. Starting your day with a headache is not ideal, so if you are constantly waking with a throbbing headache, it’s time to visit your dentist and let them examine the severity of the condition.
Unexplained Damage To Teeth
If you notice a cracked or chipped tooth with no explainable cause, it could be an indication that you are grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. This is due to the tremendous amount of pressure exerted on teeth when they are grinding or when you are clenching your jaw. The pressure can break down your teeth’s enamel and alter their shape and appearance.
If you are noticing these signs, it is important that you visit your dentist for treatment options.
What Bruxism Treatment is Right For You
While there is no cure for bruxism, there are some treatment options that can protect your teeth and oral health. The treatment of this dental condition will depend upon the root cause of the problem. Once you visit your dentist, they will ask you questions related to the problem and level of pain and will perform an examination of your teeth, jaw, and facial muscles. Depending upon the damage and the cause of damage, your dentist may recommend the following treatment options:
- Mouth guards – An acrylic mouth guard can be designed from tooth impressions to minimize abrasive teeth grinding. These teeth grinding mouth guards should be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage, damage to the temporomandibular joint, and help to stabilize the occlusion.
- NTI night guard – This device is fitted by a health professional and only covers the front teeth. The goal of the NTI is to prevent grinding of the rear molars by limiting the contraction of the temporalis muscle. It will help keep your jaw in a comfortable position and encourage your muscles to relax.
If you have been waking up with an unusual feeling in your mouth or jaw, you may want to consider visiting a dentist for treatment. At Transcend Dental, we offer the bruxism treatment options described above to help with this condition. For more information on this condition or to schedule an appointment, contact our team today!