When it comes to your teeth, any unwarranted pressure can cause damage to both your teeth and gums. So when people start grinding their teeth, it can have a negative impact on the mouth as a whole. Known as bruxism, this act does not just include grinding the teeth but also clenching them. Approximately 30 to 40 million people suffer from bruxism in the United States. But what is bruxism and how can we stop it? Let’s take a look!
Causes of Bruxism
Some dental experts believe bruxism is a habit that is picked up from observing the behavior, other believe it could be a few other things. Dentists attribute this behavior to:
- Frustration, stress, anger, and anxiety
- Malocclusion, misalignment of the jaw and teeth
- Rare diseases in the muscles and nerves
- Side effects of anti-depressants
- A complication of Huntington or Parkinson’s Disease
Bruxism can affect both children and adults at different stages in their lives. While most children grow out of this behavior by adulthood, there are some who continue to grind their teeth into their adult years.
Signs and Symptoms
Bruxism most commonly occurs while you are sleeping, but can also occur during the day. Signs you may be suffering from bruxism include: tight or pained jaw muscles, popping or clicking of the temporomandibular joint, long-lasting pain in the face, damaged teeth, broken fillings, injured gums, headaches, and occasional swelling on the lower jaw. You may also notice rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscle. This is not something that would go unnoticed by others in your home. The sound of grinding could be loud enough to wake someone sleeping in your bedroom. Bruxism can also have a lasting effect on the overall health of your mouth. It can wear away your tooth enamel and in some cases your dentin, cracking or chipping dental work and teeth, sensitivity to teeth, loose or painful teeth, and jaw pain. If you experience these symptoms or are told you grind your teeth, there are some things you can do to lessen your discomfort.
There is not a universal treatment for bruxism because there are several different causes. To find your best options, speak with your primary care doctor as well as your dentist. Your Annapolis Dental Care dentist will help by fitting you for a night guard that will prevent your teeth from grinding or clenching together in your sleep. If you think your bruxism is causing by stress, try changing your bed time routine to something relaxing. Listen to soft music, read a good book, or taking a hot shower can help relax you in time to go to sleep. If a new medication is causing your bruxism, ask your primary care physician about switching medications in order to avoid permanent damage to your teeth.
For more treatment options or if you notice chipped, cracked, or loose teeth, see your Annapolis Dental Care dentist immediately!
Teeth Whitening with Annapolis Dental Care
If you want to schedule your next visit, please contact Annapolis Family Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! We can give you more information, or schedule your appointment. Our diligent knowledge of all dental treatments and extensive experience in all fields of dentistry, ensure Annapolis Dental is best suited to care for your oral health. You can also follow Annapolis Dental Care on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.