The Facts About Clenching & Grinding

Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, headaches, and earaches. Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, poor posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is found in about one-third of the population and is most prevalent in women.

People with bruxism may have other biting habits, such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks.

Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth causes the aforementioned symptoms, and it may also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently results in surface wear over time, which can cause several 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 allows us to check your teeth, soft tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you are suffering from bruxism, we'll create an orthodontic appliance, also called a nightguard or splint, to prevent the 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 eliminates the problem. However, if the condition persists, we can prescribe alternative therapies.

Other ways to relieve the symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of the face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, our team repairs and treats you to provide complete relief.

Learn More About Bruxism

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