Bruxism: Are you harming your teeth while you sleep?

Bruxism: Are you harming your teeth while you sleep?

dentist DallasDo you wake up with a sore jaw? Perhaps you’re struggling with facial pain and headaches. These are classic signs of bruxism – a habit that involves clenching and grinding one’s teeth. Your dentist might suspect bruxism if he or she notices untimely tooth wear during routine checkups.

Most of the time, bruxism develops as a response to anxiety, stress, or pain. Then it becomes a habit where many people are unaware that they are clenching their jaws and gnashing their teeth. Many people who brux their teeth tend to do so while sleeping.

If you think you might have bruxism, it’s important to consult with your oral healthcare provider. He or she can prescribe custom nightguards to protect your teeth and recommend certain types of stress reduction exercises to help you handle life’s pressures.

The Dangers of Bruxism

Untreated bruxism is quite destructive. Over time, it will lead to tooth wear, which may require restorations to treat. Tooth wear can lead to broken and infected teeth along with improper bites, which could affect oral function.

Tooth wear and the added strain on your jaw could also lead to the development of a painful condition called TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder involves the dysfunction of the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. This joint is responsible for all mouth movement so its dysfunction could pose a serious disruption to one’s daily life. Common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Popping or clicking sensations during oral function
  • Facial tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Inability to move, open, or close the mouth
  • Discomfort when speaking, eating, laughing, and yawning

Bruxism can be treated with custom nightguards. This non-surgical treatment option protects teeth from developing damage and helps alleviate excessive pressure on the jaw.

If you have questions about bruxism or restorative dentistry, call our practice to reserve a consultation with our dentist.