Lately you’ve been waking up with a slight headache and occasionally a dull ache in your jaw. You keep taking ibuprofen until your bi-yearly dental appointment when you’re told all these symptoms are caused because you’re grinding your teeth. Known as bruxsim in the medical world, teeth grinding is extremely common and generally occurs at night while sleeping. Bruxism can be caused by a wide range of factors including a misaligned bite, missing teeth, stress or anxiety. Frequently people who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea are found to grind their teeth.
A visit to your dentist can determine if you suffer from bruxism. In addition to the head, jaw and neck pain, there can also be physical signs such as worn enamel and loose or cracked teeth. If left unchecked extreme cases of teeth grinding can cause TMD/TMJ and possibly even change the shape of your jaw.
Depending on the cause, bruxism can be treated or controlled through a variety of methods. Counseling, yoga, regular exercise or muscle relaxants are all proven methods of stress reduction. If you have previously been diagnosed or think you possibly have sleep apnea then talk to your doctor about a specific treatment plan to target this concern.
One of the best and most successful methods of dealing with teeth grinding comes from your dentist. At Ellis Dental, we custom form plastic mouth guard clenchers and grinders which are worn over the teeth while sleeping. These guards can help reduce tooth damage and ease jaw, neck and head pain.
Concerned you might have bruxism? Please call Ellis Dental today at 314-965-1334 to schedule an appointment. In addition to a custom mouth guard we can also discuss other methods to help you stop grinding your teeth.