If your dentist has ever told you that your clench or grind your teeth, you have a condition known as bruxism. While this might not seem like a serious problem, bruxism can damage teeth or dental crowns, and cause tension headaches and facial pain. If you are suffering from bruxism, read on to learn more about this common condition, and what you can do to alleviate your symptoms.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism involves grinding or clenching your teeth. Some people with bruxism only do this during the day, while others will clench their teeth during the night. However, those who grind their teeth at night actually have a sleep movement disorder and may be more likely to develop other sleep disorders like sleep apnea.
What are the symptoms of bruxism?
Bruxism can cause aching pain and stiffness in the jaw, headaches, and even tooth damage. Over time you may notice that your teeth have flattened, or you may experience fractures and chips in your teeth. You may also notice an increase in tooth sensitivity.
When should I see my Lansing dentist about bruxism?
While not everyone will need treatment, particularly if your case is mild, you should see us right away if you notice any damage or sensitivity in your teeth, pain in your jaw, or a locked jaw.
How is bruxism diagnosed?
When you come in for your routine dental appointments, your Lansing dentist will look for signs that you may have bruxism. If we notice any red flags, we will continue to monitor the issue over the next few visits to see how things have changed, and to decide whether you may need treatment. If you are experiencing any symptoms of bruxism, please let us know at your next appointment.
How is bruxism treated?
If your bruxism is caused by poor alignment or malocclusion, your Lansing dentist may recommend braces to correct the problem. However, night guards and splints can be particularly helpful and effective at reducing the wear and tear of daily or nightly teeth grinding. Both of these appliances are placed over the top of your teeth to prevent damage due to grinding and clenching. Splints are worn for those who grind during the day, while mouth guards can help those whose bruxism is most prevalent while they sleep.
Muscle relaxants and stress management are also sometimes recommended for relieving your bruxism symptoms, depending on your case.
If you are suffering from bruxism and need relief from your symptoms, then it’s time to call your Lansing dentist, Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler. Here at our office we specialize in treating bruxism cases, as well as offer a full range of other dental services. Let us stop your jaw pain once and for all.