Many people grind their teeth, and this condition is known as bruxism. This teeth grinding can take place when you are awake (awake bruxism) or asleep (sleep bruxism). It's important to note that teeth grinding or jaw clenching is completely separate from normal daily functions like chewing gum or eating.
Bruxism seriously affects your overall dental health, so you will want to stop teeth grinding as soon as possible. Here are some of the effects of bruxism and how to prevent it from damaging your teeth.
Effects of Bruxism
You may have bruxism diagnosed when you start to see some of the issues and risk factors of having consistent clenching or grinding of the teeth. There are some serious side effects of prolonged teeth grinding that can impact your beautiful smile.
Some of the common side effects of bruxism include:
- Loose teeth
- Broken teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Sore jaw
- Damage to the temporomandibular joint
It may mimic the symptoms of sleep disorders because sleep bruxism interrupts the pattern of healthy sleep. Sleep bruxism can also indicate obstructive sleep apnea, where grinding occurs between the breaths you take.
If you think your tooth grinding could be causing any of the above issues on your upper and lower teeth, you should seek help from an experienced dentist before it takes a toll on your jaw joints. It is possible to reduce teeth grinding and minimize your likelihood of serious long-term effects on the teeth and jaw muscles.
How To Treat and Prevent Bruxism
Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions for teeth grinding. Especially if you have sleep bruxism, you might find it nearly impossible to catch yourself grinding and clenching the jaw. While it may not entirely solve your issue, you can take a few actions to minimize lost teeth, sensitive teeth, and jaw pain.
The first thing you can do is contact your dentist about being fitted with a night guard. This device makes it impossible for your teeth to touch during the night, eliminating the effects of grinding, such as loose and broken teeth. It also minimizes pain in the jaw joint, making you less prone to earaches and facial pain in the morning.
Of course, there are other options that can be used in conjunction with a night guard. Consider taking certain medications or a muscle relaxer at bedtime if you find teeth grinding harmful. Consult with your doctor or dentist to determine whether this is the right fit for you.
Sometimes, people who grind their teeth do so because of anxiety. You can implement new stress management techniques by engaging in cognitive behavioural therapy with a licensed counsellor. They might also give you coping skills to manage stress, such as mindfulness exercises and meditation.
Find Dental Help for Bruxism
Whether you have awake bruxism or sleep bruxism, you need help to minimize the effects of teeth grinding. East Kildonan Dental Group is your local Henderson dental clinic that can help you solve your bruxism for good. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can diagnose bruxism, minimize tooth damage, and set you on the path to healing!