Do you wake up with pain in your jaw or headaches? These can be symptoms of bruxism, more commonly known as tooth grinding. Bruxism is a common problem in adults and children, and can lead to serious problems if not treated. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce tooth grinding.
Bruxism has a variety of causes. Many people assume stress or anxiety is to blame, but it can be more complicated than that. Much tooth grinding occurs during the night and can be caused by crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Sleep apnea can also play a role. Because it often occurs during sleep, many people don’t know they grind their teeth. Be aware if your partner makes grinding noises in his or her sleep.
Teeth grinding is more than just a little discomfort in the jaw. It can do a number on the teeth, wearing them down dramatically and even fracturing them. If this occurs, you may need crowns, implants, or even dentures. Don’t let it get that far. If you suspect bruxism in yourself or your partner, come in for an examination by Dr. J. Steve Morton.
Treatment often utilizes a night guard to use during sleep. This protects the teeth and reduces strain on the jaw. You can also reduce your stress with exercise, relaxation techniques, or medication. Avoid caffeine, chewing gum or non-food items like pens, and practice not clenching if you notice this during the day.
We are happy to talk with you about any questions you have about teeth grinding. Please call our Sevierville, TN, office to get your smile where it needs to be.