Monday, September 1, 2014

Do You Grind Your Teeth? Ways to Address Bruxism

Are you a grinder? Many people have the issue of grinding their teeth, some are not even aware of it, because they grind in their sleep. This habit is called bruxism, and it can really wear down enamel and cause issues with the tooth structure over a long period of time. It can also cause jaw and neck pain, and lead to TMJ, or Temporomandibular joint dysfunction.  

The main causes of a grinding disorder are due to stress, and this becomes a side effect or habit, like nail biting, only we are not conscious of it. Here are some of the main signs you grind your teeth:
  • Soreness in jaw
  • A dull-aching headache that is consistent
  • Grinding at night becomes audible
  • You may notice cuts inside your cheeks
If you notice jaw pain, wear on your molars, or catch yourself grinding, here are some tips to help:
  • Knowing about bruxism is the first step, now you can seek the help of a professional for a diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.
  • Find ways to cope and eliminate stress, such as breathing, meditation, yoga, taking a walk, going to the gym, and being aware of stressors. 
  • Once you are diagnosed, a combination of options may be recommended, such as muscle relaxant medication, a mouth guard to wear while you sleep, or sometime surgery is necessary in severe cases.
The best next-step is to visit your dentist, so you can take care of the issue sooner than later.