Do you wake up with a sore jaw and sensitive teeth? These could be signs of bruxism.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is an involuntary condition in which individuals clench and grind their teeth. According to the American Sleep Association, bruxism affects 10% of American adults and as many as 15% of American children. While this is common during sleep, it can also occur during the day. Although there is no primary cause of Bruxism, it is often correlated to stress and anxiety. Medications, caffeine, alcohol, age, family history and other disorders can also increase the risk of teeth grinding.
- Teeth damage: Constant teeth grinding results in the loss of enamel, which can lead to teeth sensitivity or even decay. In some cases, individuals will develop stress fractures on their teeth. If left untreated, individuals’ teeth may prematurely fracture, leading to extensive reconstructive dentistry and financial investment.
- Jaw damage: What starts off as morning jaw soreness, can eventually lead to a severe condition called Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome. TMJ can be very painful and lead to trouble with chewing and locking of jaw joints. If left untreated, this can cause jaw misalignment and possible need for surgery.
- Head pain: The temporomandibular joints, found on each side of the head in front of the ears, are responsible for all jaw movements, such as eating and talking, and connect your lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull. The grinding and clenching of the jaw can put pressure on the joints, causing pain in the forehead, temples, back of head and neck.
While some mild cases do not require any treatment, there are several different options to help prevent tooth damage and relieve discomfort.
- Mouthguard: A professionally fabricated protective guard is the most common treatment for bruxism. It keeps teeth separated to avoid the damage caused by clenching and grinding and is great to wear to bed for sleep bruxism.
- BOTOX®: The treatment isn’t just for wrinkles. BOTOX is a muscle relaxant that can be used to decrease clenching and grinding helping to relieve the facial pain and headaches often associated with bruxism.
From mouthguards to restorative procedures and BOTOX therapy, Dr. Stante can help you select the right options to prevent, treat and relieve the effects of bruxism. To find out what steps you can take to inspect damage and overall oral health, schedule your appointment by calling 317-579-1875 today.