You’ve tried everything you can think of to put a stop to the jaw pain you experience each morning. You’ve changed pillows and switched up your sleeping position, but you still experience pain. If this sounds familiar, then you may suffer from bruxism — the involuntary clenching and grinding of the teeth at night. Because it occurs when no one is watching, it often goes undiagnosed, leaving people like you puzzled about the cause of their pain. The good news is that the team members at Hart Dental know a thing or two about bruxism and exactly how to prevent you from harming your teeth and living with pain.
The Symptoms of Bruxism
Jaw pain is just one of many symptoms of bruxism. If you have any of the following symptoms, it may be time to come in for an appointment.
- Tension headaches or migraines
- Earaches or facial pain
- Neck, back, or shoulder pain
- Worn down or cracked teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Scars or sores from chewing on the inside of your cheeks
- Disrupted sleep
The pain and discomfort are bad enough, but if left untreated, bruxism can lead to additional problems, including damaged dental work (such as crowns or veneers), worn or damaged tooth enamel (which causes tooth sensitivity), or even problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
There are certain risk factors associated with bruxism. Those who lead high-stress lifestyles or are generally anxious or aggressive are more likely to grind their teeth than those who are able to live a relaxing life. Genetics and health conditions such as epilepsy, ADHD, Parkinson’s, and sleep apnea are also risk factors. Don’t despair if any of these risk factors apply to you, though. Whatever the reason for your bruxism, we can help.
The Good News
Once diagnosed, bruxism is highly treatable! We may not be able to prevent you from the occasional clenching during the day, but we can provide a customized night guard to prevent you from damaging your teeth while you sleep. Your night guard will be made to comfortably fit your teeth so you can sleep soundly without damaging your teeth or experiencing pain upon waking.
If you think that you might be grinding and clenching your teeth at night, contact our office to schedule an appointment. It is important to treat bruxism as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to your pearly whites.
If you live in or near Mitchell, South Dakota, we’d love to see you, whether it be for bruxism or a simple cleaning. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.