If you wake up with a headache or your jaw hurts upon rising, you may be a teeth grinder, otherwise known as bruxism. Teeth grinding typically happens during sleep, but can also occur throughout the day in the form of clenching. Most people are unaware they are doing it until they are informed by others when they’ve overheard grinding sounds at night.
Occasional teeth grinding is normal and nothing to cause alarm, but when it’s done on a regular basis, teeth can become damaged and other oral complications can arise. Over time, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be required.
Bruxism is often attributed to:
- Sleep Disorders
- Abnormal Bite
- Missing or Crooked Teeth
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
- Depression Medicine Side Effects (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil)
- Dull Headache
- Sore Jaw
- Painful Teeth
- Cracked, Loose, or Worn Teeth
- Unexplained Facial Pain
- Facial Muscle Spasms
- Swelling of Lower Jaw Muscles
Your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard to help protect teeth and facial muscles while you sleep. More extreme conditions may require a muscle relaxant before bedtime or Valium to induce relaxation.
If teeth grinding is occurring due to a bite misalignment, your dentist may recommend an appliance, braces, inlays, or crowns to correct positioning or reshape the biting surfaces of your teeth. This may help your teeth and muscles to realign.
If bruxism is caused by stress, try practicing the following:
- Reducing Tension
- Relaxation Techniques
- Counseling or Psychotherapy
Your doctor will likely recommend you alter your nutrition by reducing stimulants (sugar, caffeine and tobacco) and avoid alcohol and chewing gum. Warm compresses on the cheeks, positioned by the earlobes, may relieve TMJ.
If you have any signs or symptoms for bruxism, call Dr. Arhiri at Premier Smiles Dental Spa to schedule an appointment. He can determine if you are a bruxer and the best treatment for you. See you dentist right away if you have a broken tooth, loose filling, or feel your teeth are becoming loose. Call 610.647.7611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!