Have you been told that you grind your teeth at night? Do you find yourself grinding your teeth during the day? You may have a condition called Bruxism. Bruxism is a condition where you clench, grind or gnash your teeth.
There are two types of bruxism. Sleep bruxism is where you clench and grind your teeth during sleep. Sleep bruxism is often associated with other sleep disorders. Awake bruxism is where you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth while you’re awake.
Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
- Clenching or teeth grinding which may affect your partner’s sleep
- Damage to teeth such as flattening, fractures and loose or chipped teeth
- Sensitivity or Tooth Pain
- Sore or tight jaw muscles that might include face, jaw or neck pain
- Pain that feels like an earache
- Sleep disruption
Teeth Grinding Causes:
Doctors and researchers are unsure of the exact causes of bruxism. There is a strong association with stress, anxiety, caffeine intake, medications and sleep apnea.
If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to mention them to your doctor or dentist at your next visit. If you notice them in your child, make sure to talk to his/her doctor or dentist for them.
In many cases, grinding your teeth with not cause serious problems. More extreme cases may cause damage to the teeth and jaw. It is important to keep your doctor and dentist informed of any changes to your health, including any tooth and jaw pain that may be caused by bruxism.
Teeth Grinding Treatment
If your dentist notices that you have signs of bruxism, they will attempt to determine the cause by asking you questions about your general health and examining your teeth and jaw. If they determine that you have sleep bruxism, they may discuss appliances that can be worn at night to help relieve symptoms and protect your teeth. They may refer you to a sleep specialist to determine if you have a sleep disorder that is contributing to your condition. Children may grow out of their bruxism, and adults can make lifestyle changes that may decrease the amount and severity of their grinding. More severe cases may require you to have dental treatment to repair damage to the tooth structure.
There are associated disorders that may be causing or contributing to a patient’s bruxism. These could be a side effect of medications, sleep related disorders or other medical conditions. Working to treat these underlying issues may improve bruxism.
Willow Lake Dental is a full-service dental office located in Vadnais Heights and serving, Shoreview, White Bear Lake, North Oaks, Maplewood and surrounding communities. Please give us a call if you have any questions about your oral healthcare needs. Our friendly staff is here to help!