It’s not uncommon for some people to involuntarily clench or grind their teeth when they feel scared, angry, or stressed. However, some experience this reaction repeatedly throughout the day, even when not responding directly to a stressor. Involuntary teeth grinding is called bruxism, and it needs Morton dental, IL, care.
Bruxism occurs when a person is conscious or unconscious, but in most cases, people grind their teeth in sleep. Unfortunately, if bruxism isn’t addressed right away, it can lead to serious oral health issues affecting your teeth and jaw health.
What Can Teeth Grinding Do to Your Oral Health?
What Is Bruxism?
Involuntarily grinding or clenching one's teeth is called bruxism. This repetitive movement of the muscles used for chewing can cause various symptoms, including tooth damage, jaw pain and discomfort, headaches, and sleep disturbances.
There is no clear explanation for the cause of bruxism. Stress, anxiety, and certain medical conditions are thought to contribute to it.
Treatment options for bruxism may include lifestyle changes, stress management techniques, and using a mouth guard or splint to protect the teeth and jaws during sleep. A combination of medication and behavioral therapy may be recommended in severe cases.
What Are the Consequences of Teeth Grinding?
Unfortunately, bruxism can lead to oral health consequences, including the following:
- Wears down your enamel. When you constantly clench and grind your teeth, the pressure will gradually wear down your enamel leading to chips and cracks. It can also result in tooth decay, sensitivity, and eventually tooth loss.
- Jaw pain. Aside from affecting your teeth, bruxism can also cause pain in your jaw, temples, and around your ears. Furthermore, it can predispose you to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, characterized by pain and clicking sounds when you move your jaw.
- Headaches. According to studies, people who grind their teeth at night usually wake up with headaches in the morning.
- Sleep disturbance. It is believed that bruxism can make you susceptible to other sleep disorders like sleep apnea.
How Do Dentists Treat Bruxism?
Thankfully, bruxism can be treated in many ways. Treatment depends on your condition's severity. Some of the common bruxism treatments are the following:
- Behavior Modification
Your dentist can teach you how to rest your tongue and lips properly. Knowing how to rest your tongue upward has been found to help relieve jaw pain. It also helps to avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol since these substances can exacerbate symptoms of bruxism.
- Stress Management
Since stress can trigger bruxism, dentists suggest you learn stress management techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga.
- Dental Splints or Mouthguards
You can protect your teeth from the destructive effects of clenching and grinding if you wear custom-made dental splints or mouthguards at night.
Medications like anxiolytics and muscle relaxants are often prescribed to manage bruxism.
- Restorative Dental Treatments
You Need Morton Dental Care in IL for Bruxism
It's important to consult an experienced dentist to get a proper diagnosis. Sometimes, your dentist will use a combination of treatments to manage your symptoms. At Smalltown Dental, we strive to provide affordable treatments in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Our team has years of experience and training to give you the best care. Contact us to book a consultation.