Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

The word “bruxism” in layman’s terms is teeth grinding. This is a problem that many people have and may not even realize it. That’s because very often, people who have bruxism grind their teeth while they’re asleep. Teeth grinding may be caused by stress or anxiety, but in many people, it’s just a reflex. Sometimes children grind their teeth in their sleep and never outgrow the habit. Chronic teeth grinding can cause complications including wearing down of the teeth, cracked teeth and even loss of teeth.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Some people experience headaches or jaw pain when they wake up. This could be a sign of teeth grinding. If you don’t have pain when you awaken, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t grind your teeth. Even if you don’t suspect that your grind your teeth, a visit to our practice might reveal evidence that you do. Dentists can see signs of bruxism by examining your teeth and jaws.

Bruxism Treatment & Prevention

Fortunately, some things can be done to eliminate the teeth grinding habit.

  • Learn to relax your jaws. If you ever notice yourself grinding or clenching your teeth while you’re awake, stop.
  • Separate your teeth and put the tip of your tongue between them. This will help train your jaws to relax.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, particularly at night, as these may increase the likelihood that you’ll grind your teeth.
  • If your teeth grinding is a severe problem, a nightguard can be specially made for you to wear at night.

Teeth grinding effects about ten percent of Americans, and many of them have an abnormal bite or crooked teeth. Getting these situations corrected may be of help in reducing grinding.

If you suspect that you grind your teeth call our office for an appointment for a dental checkup. If our dentist sees signs of grinding, ask about prevention techniques and treatment for any problems your teeth grinding may have already caused.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
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