Do you grind your teeth at night? Wake up with a sore jaw? Has your dentist talked to you about abnormal teeth wear? You might be suffering from a condition called Bruxism
Bruxism is the medical term for grinding, clenching or gnashing one’s teeth unconsciously and uncontrollably. It usually happens at night while we sleep, especially with children, however adult bruxism can occur either in daytime or nighttime. Those that suffer from bruxism during the day often feel anxious and tense or some other form of psychological stress, which leads to the clenching of the jaw muscles. Though when this disorder occurs in one’s sleep it is accompanied by the grinding and gnashing of the teeth; this is referred to as SLEEP BRUXISM. Certain cases of bruxism are mild and may not even require treatment. However, since most cases of bruxism occur at night, in one’s sleep, many do not even know they are doing it. So it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bruxism and learn how to prevent grinding teeth.
Symptoms of bruxism include dull headaches in the morning as well as jaw pain and tenderness. A dentist can better determine if there are signs of abnormal wear on the teeth. Excessive grinding of the teeth can also lead to fracturing, loosening or even the loss of teeth. Though, conversely, damaged and misaligned teeth (malocclusion)can lead to bruxism. Bruxism is not only a dental issue but a medical one as well. Severe grinding of the teeth can lead to further complications in the jaw area and even hearing loss and TMJ. TMJ or temporo mandibular joint (TMJ) is the area directly in front of the ear on either side of the head where the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) meet. Grinding your teeth can lead to a breakdown in the cartilage lining of the TMJ. TMJ disorders are a group of complex problems of the jaw joint. TMJ disorders are also sometimes referred to as myofacial pain dysfunction and Costen’s syndrome. Because muscles and joints work together, a problem with either one can lead to stiffness, headaches, ear pain, bite problems (malocclusion), clicking sounds, or locked jaws. The following are behaviors or conditions that can lead to TMJ disorders. Therefore, again, serious bruxism can lead to serious medical issues beyond dental issues. So it is important, if you think you may be suffering from bruxism to immediately consult with a dentist.
How can you tell if you have Bruxism?
• Painful teeth in the morning
• You jaw hurts in the morning
• You feel pain around the upper jaw below the temples while eating.
• Your teeth a flat and worn away
• You have unexplained chips on your teeth
• Your teeth are sensitive to cold and citrus.
• You have constant headaches
• You constantly wake up during the night
A dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to wear while you sleep to help protect your teeth. Though if it is more serious, the causes of one’s bruxism need to be addressed as the clenching and grinding of the jaw can lead to far more serious disorders like TMJ as mentioned previously. Furthermore, a jaw clenching guard only protects the teeth, and does not address the real problem. Certain personality traits are also linked with bruxism. People that are very high strung and controlling need to address the ways in which they manage and control stress. If a quicker approach to reducing stress is required certain types of muscle relaxers can be prescribed by your doctor. But for a more natural, long term approach to preventing grinding teeth you can review this book: A Cure for Bruxism: Save Your Smile, Stop Grinding. It’s a fast, easy and natural approach to cure teeth grinding and if you don’t want to wear a mouth guard for the rest of your life, this is a cure to stop bruxism once and for all.
Do you suffer from headaches when you first wake? Are your jaw muscles sore when you wake? If you can say yes to one or both of these questions you may have bruxism. Other signs of bruxism are an ach…