There are about ¼ of the U.S. Population the deals with and oral issue called bruxism. You may not have heard of bruxism specifically, but you will recognize the issue by the symptoms, which are: grinding your teeth, and gnashing. When you grind your teeth together or clench your jaw tightly there are some ramifications.
As you or someone begins grinding and clenching their teeth, there are minimal consequences, but they build up over time. It is possible that you don’t even realize the consequences for a while or that you even suffer from bruxism because teeth grinding and clenching your jaw happens subconsciously. Bruxism is often connected to stress.
How to know if you suffer from Bruxism
There are several indications watching for that may be evident that you have bruxism. If you are experiencing 3-4 of these indications, we recommend that you bring it up to your dentist.
- You may notice that you have aches in your jaw muscles
- Tender jaw that may also feel fatigued
- Click when opening your jaw
- Change of teeth shape
- Sensitivity in your gums and teeth
- Teeth that break, especially teeth that have once had dental work
- Struggles moving your mouth normally
- Marks or indentations on your tongue
Suggestions for Teeth Grinding
- Limit and even avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulates and magnifies stress.
- Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and increases the probability of grinding your teeth during sleep.
- Drink herbal teas like peppermint or chamomile before bed time. These will help relax you for a good night’s rest.
- Get out of the habit of anything involving chewing.
At our dental office, we see a lot of patients with jaw pain and headaches due to brusxism. Depending if other alternatives are helping or not, we my recommend an occlusal splint.An occlusal splint is a night guard, worn similarly to whitening trays. We make these guards so that they fit the shape of your teeth. This helps guide your jaw in order to avoid grinding and saving the integrity of your teeth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms listed, talk to us at your next dental cleaning and we will discuss the best options for you!