If you’ve ever found yourself waking up with headaches and a sore jaw or hear strange noises when your mouth opens and closes, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. This condition – technically called bruxism but more commonly referred to as teeth grinding – affects many millions of people each year. And while it is a relatively harmless phenomenon, it can result in damage to your teeth if it is left unaddressed. Untreated, it can eventually lead to misaligned teeth and even gum disease.
Causes and Symptoms
There are many things that can cause this teeth grinding, ranging from unresolved stress to sleep disorders, dental problems, medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, and various psychiatric medications. The problem most patients experience is that they are often unaware that they are grinding their teeth until some level of damage has been inflicted on their teeth. Obviously, the best-case scenario involves early detection of the problem so that it can be corrected, and that requires being able to identify the symptoms:
- Loose teeth, or teeth that have become flattened or chipped
- Tongue indentations; teeth grinding often results in tongue-chewing as well
- Sore jaw muscles
- Sensitive teeth
- Obvious wear on the enamel of the teeth
- Problems with your jaw locking
Any one of these symptoms might not be a cause for immediate concern, but a combination of two or more can be a sign that something needs to be addressed. You should seek dental assistance immediately if you find that you have these symptoms or any pain in the jaw or other parts of the face.
Dental Solutions That Work
Your dentist will always be your best source for relief from this condition. At the first sign of bruxism or possible tooth damage, you should schedule a dental examination so that any problems can be identified and proper treatment devised. In cases where stress is the culprit, your dentist will be able to recommend some helpful stress relief techniques, as well as instruct you in ways to modify your behavior and ensure proper jaw positioning.
If damaged or misaligned teeth are the issue, a dental professional can work to correct those problems. The methods used for resolving these issues can range from crowns in cases of heightened tooth sensitivity to braces, splints, and customized mouth guards that keep the teeth separated and prevent grinding. Where extreme damage has already occurred, you may even need oral surgery to repair the teeth.
The important thing to remember is that there are solutions for your teeth grinding issues, and that this is a problem that needs to be addressed if you want to avoid more severe damage to the teeth and gums. Fortunately, the dental experts at Ebenezer Dental have the experience you need to ensure that you receive the treatment needed to correct the damage that teeth grinding can cause. Their expertise makes them your best option when you need braces, splints, or custom made mouth guards in Midtown Manhattan.