14 Mar What is bruxism and why does it occur?
Bruxism occurs when the patient grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw on a regular basis. Grinding and clenching often begins during periods of sleep, so the action is done subconsciously. The patient might not even realize what is happening until their next visit with the dentist when the damage they have done is readily evident.
Bruxism can occur for a few reasons. The patient might be suffering from a malocclusion where the top teeth don’t align properly with the bottom teeth. Or daily pressures, anxiety, and nervousness might be released while asleep through grinding teeth or jaw clenching.
This habit that starts out during sleep can become so ingrained that it happens while the patient is awake as well. But there are solutions that a visit with your dentist can provide.
Your dentist can identify evidence of bruxism by the wearing of dental enamel; serious bruxism can result in dental decay and/or broken teeth.
If uneven dentition appears to be contributing to grinding, your dentist can make adjustments to try to eliminate the problem. If a malocclusion is at issue, a recommendation for orthodontics may be given.
But for a multitude of patients, the problem of bruxism can be resolved through the use of a night guard. This is an apparatus made specifically for you by your dentist or a dental lab that is designed to be worn at night that will prevent teeth grinding.
There are one size fits all night guards available at the supermarket or drug store, but if your night guard doesn’t fit properly or is uncomfortable, you will not wear it. Acquiring a night guard from your dentist will assure you will be receiving a product designed specifically for your needs; it will fit properly; and will be made from materials that are designed with you in mind.
If anxiety or day to day pressures have led to bruxism, your dentist will likely recommend trying to resolve those issues through avenues like counseling, meditation, exercise, or maybe even medication. But as you work to resolve those concerns, a night guard will be protecting your teeth from the damage you are doing from teeth grinding.
Some symptoms of teeth grinding may include morning headaches, neck pain, ear aches, or discomfort in the jaw.
If you are experiencing these issues, call our office! We may have the ideal solution.