Do you ever wake up with jaw pain, facial tension or headaches? These symptoms may be a sign that you grind or clench your teeth at night. This involuntary movement of your jaw muscles is called bruxism, and it is often caused by stress, temporomandibular joint displacement or misaligned teeth.
If you experience chronic teeth grinding, you may end up inadvertently damaging your teeth or jaw. In this article, the dental experts at Clinique Dentaire 1935 provide an overview of bruxism that includes causes, symptoms and treatment options.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is an often-unconscious reflex to grind or clench one’s teeth. It commonly occurs at night, but can also happen during the day. Emotional upheaval such as stress or anxiety often causes bruxism, but physiological problems such as misaligned teeth can also be the culprit.
Over time, bruxism can cause permanent problems like dental pain and tooth loss, so it’s important to talk to your dentist as soon as the first symptoms appear.
Teeth grinding is a problem that affects adults and children alike. If you suspect that your child may be grinding their teeth, read our article on bruxism in children and contact a dental professional if necessary.
The consequences of bruxism
The consequences teeth grinding can have on oral health vary significantly depending on the severity of the problem. In some cases, the consequences are minimal and only require minor dental care. However, more severe cases of chronic bruxism can considerably damage your teeth and become a dental emergency.
If you are experiencing jaw muscle pain or temporomandibular joint problems such as difficulty opening your mouth, you may suffer from bruxism without being aware of it. If you’ve ever been told that you grind your teeth at night, you should talk to your dentist about it as soon as possible.
If left untreated, bruxism can have a number of serious consequences, including dental deviation, dental attrition, premature enamel wear, tooth cracks or fractures, and even teeth coming loose. That’s why it’s best to consult a dental professional as soon as you begin to suspect that you might have bruxism.
The most common symptoms of bruxism
If you grind your teeth, you may experience several different symptoms. Some of the symptoms can resemble a toothache, but either way, it’s a good idea to look into the problem. Here are the most common symptoms of bruxism:
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink
- Recurrent headaches or earaches
- Sharp pain in the teeth and jaws when waking up
- Teeth that seem loose
What causes teeth grinding?
The causes of bruxism can be physiological or psychological. One of the most common factors is dental malocclusion, which is a misalignment of the teeth. If malocclusion is at the root of your teeth grinding, your dentist may suggest orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign or other solutions to realign your teeth.
Tooth wear or missing teeth may also be the cause of your bruxism. If that’s the case, you should visit a dentist without delay—they may be able to solve the problem with a dental implant.
Finally, bruxism can have psychological causes. Stress, anxiety and hyperactivity are the most common factors that can lead to teeth grinding. While it’s important to address these problems at the source, your dentist can offer solutions to prevent your teeth from grinding in the meantime.
Treatments for bruxism
There are several treatments available for teeth grinding. Dentists can offer simple, effective methods if the bruxism is brought to them in time.
The bite plate: an appliance to prevent teeth grinding
This appliance prevents teeth grinding by stopping the top and bottom teeth from coming into contact. This protects you from dental damage and harmful bacteria that can cause gingivitis and infections.
The bite plate is custom-made to fit the patient’s teeth and oral anatomy so that they can wear it comfortably every night.
Dental crowns to prevent teeth grinding
If your bruxism is caused by a problem with your bite, it might be because you’re missing a tooth or part of one. In such cases, your dentist might suggest a dental crown or another orthodontic treatment. Contact your dentist to find out which solution is right for you!
Contact Clinique Dentaire 1935 for bruxism treatment
It’s important to take care of your smile, even while you’re asleep! If you’re worried about grinding your teeth at night, contact a dentist without delay so that they can correct the problem before it’s too late.
Our team has the expertise to recognize the damage caused by bruxism and provide adequate treatment, regardless of the extent of the damage.
Contact Clinique Dentaire 1935 today—we will welcome you with a smile and help you restore yours!