Posted on 12/7/2020 by Andrew Horowitz, DMD, MD, FACS
Bruxism is a term that refers to a condition where you gnash, clench, or grind your teeth. It can happen while awake or during sleep (also known as sleep bruxism). Nighttime grinding is usually related to sleep apnea, acid reflux, and hyperactivity. This disorder affects each patient differently. Factors such as genetic, physical, and psychological could be at play. Others include tension, stress, and concentration, which lead to daytime teeth clenching. Bruxism can also appear as one of the side effects of medications meant to treat depression.
The Impact of Bruxism
Effects of Bruxism
Bruxism can have a negative impact on your health. It can lead to tooth fracture, chronic pain, headache, and TMJ syndrome. The TMJ, however, may lead to muscle problems in your jaws and joints. With your jaws compromised, you will experience problems with chewing, restricted range of motion, and clicking sounds within the temporomandibular joints. When left unchecked, bruxism can cause pain to spread to your ears and temples. It can also contribute to teeth wearing, sore muscles, stiffness in your jaws, and migraines. Increased tooth sensitivity and pain may ensue not to mention sleep disruption. This condition can also affect those close to you especially during sleeping time. In fact, you may not know that you are grinding or clenching your teeth until your sleep partner informs you.
Once you discover that you are a bruxism patient, you should visit us for diagnosis and treatment. The treatment will include outfitting you with nightguards to protect your teeth. Another treatment may involve muscle relaxers to stop nighttime grinding. Behavioral strategies can come in as an alternative treatment to your bruxism by identifying and addressing everything that triggers this disorder. Call us today or visit our office to learn more about bruxism and how to prevent it.
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