Take note of your jaw right now. Are you clenching it tight? If so, chances are high you suffer from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Many Americans experience occasional periods of stress-related jaw clenching and grinding, but chronic bruxers should protect their teeth with a custom-fitted mouthguard from their dentist in Dublin, Dr. Buck or Dr. Burton.
What is bruxism? And how does a mouthguard help alleviate teeth grinding? Let’s take a closer look at the condition and its treatment at Distinctive Smiles of Dublin.
Causes, Warning Signs, and Effects of Bruxism
Bruxism is the condition that causes you to clench your jaw and grind your teeth. Most people only grind their teeth while they are asleep, but others experience daytime bruxism, too. The causes of jaw clenching and grinding include facial trauma that throws the alignment of the jaw muscle (your TMJ) out of whack. People with misaligned teeth are also more likely to experience bruxism. But the most common cause of bruxism in adults is stress or anxiety.
Wondering whether or not you are experiencing the warning signs associated with bruxism? Here’s what to look out for.
- Facial, jaw, ear, or neck pain upon waking
- Weak or worn teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Teeth grinding or jaw clenching during sleep, observed by a partner
- Tense or sore jaw muscles
Left untreated, the effects of nighttime teeth grinding can be serious. Your jaw can exert some pretty extreme pressure — somewhere around 150 pounds of force, on average. So it won’t come as a surprise that constant pressure wears down your tooth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity, weaker teeth, and an increased risk of tooth decay.
Find Relief With a Dental Nightguard
Because bruxism is frequently linked to stress and anxiety, taking some steps to decompress can greatly help to alleviate your symptoms. Meditation, vigorous exercise, and talk therapy can ease your jaw and improve your quality of sleep. Patients who reduce stress along with their treatment for bruxism often enjoy great success regaining their restful sleep.
Other tips for reducing teeth grinding include…
- Consciously relaxing your jaw during the day
- Applying a warm compress to the jaw muscle at night
- Reducing caffeine and tobacco consumption
- Talking to your doctor about medications that could be causing your bruxism
To protect your tooth enamel and reduce the occurrence of bruxism, Dr. Buck or Dr. Burton can fit you for a customized nightguard. It is a small device that sort of resembles an athlete’s mouthguard. You wear it while you sleep, and it stabilizes the jaw while also protecting your tooth enamel from excessive force.
Let’s Get Started on Your Treatment
Your bruxism won’t get better on its own. Make 2017 the year you finally do something about your persistent headaches, jaw pain, and sensitive teeth! Contact Distinctive Smiles of Dublin to schedule an appointment for bruxism treatment with Dr. Buck or Dr. Burton today.