Nightguards for Bruxism
The Crux of Bruxism
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Some patients react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. This constant pressure and motion can harm the teeth as well as the muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. Left untreated, this can lead to cracked teeth, chronic headaches, and even a strained jaw, which is certainly no way to wake up in the morning! Fortunately, the condition, known as bruxism, can be remedied with a nightguard.
The Facts About Teeth Clenching & Grinding
Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, headaches, and earaches. Causes vary but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, bad posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is most prevalent in women and generally found in about one-third of the population.
Individuals who react to stress with anger, frustration, or aggression are most commonly affected. People with bruxism may have other negative oral habits, such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks.
Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth can cause not only these symptoms, but it may also contribute to TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently will result in surface wear over time, which will cause dental problems. Insomnia, eating disorders, and depression can result from bruxism if left untreated.
A Solid Solution
How can you stop an unconscious habit? A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we'll create an orthodontic appliance, also called a nightguard or splint, to prevent grinding and clenching. Many types of nightguards exist, and patients react differently to the various styles. If one appliance does not work, another may. In many cases, simply wearing a nightguard will eliminate the problem. However, if the condition persists, we can prescribe alternative therapies to correct the issue.
Some practices that can relieve symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of the face and neck muscles, applying ice or heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and properly hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMD to be a factor, our team will repair and treat you to provide complete relief.