If you’ve ever woken up with a sore jaw or constant headaches, you know just how uncomfortable it can be. These problems, as well as tense muscles, are often the result of bruxism, which is the medical term for teeth grinding. Together we can work to figure out the cause of your grinding, while also working to create an appropriate treatment plan. This will help prevent further harm to your teeth and jaw. Let’s take a closer look at teeth grinding and how you can find a way to end your stress and improve your health.

Understanding Bruxism

Bruxism is a common, involuntary condition that most often occurs while sleeping. It can affect men, women and children. Since most people grind their teeth at night, many suffer from bruxism without even being aware of their condition. If bruxism is left untreated, it can lead to a number of complications, with the most obvious being dental damage.

People who grind and clench their teeth unintentionally bite down too hard at inappropriate times, such as in their sleep. In addition to grinding their teeth, bruxers might also bite their fingernails, pencils and chew the inside of their cheek. Many people are not diagnosed with bruxism until damage has already appeared.

Managing Stress

There are certain personality types that can trigger bruxism, such as those with nervous tension and those who have a hard time managing stress. Anger, pain and frustration can also cause people to start showing the beginning signs of bruxism without them even knowing it. Those who are aggressive, competitive and in a rush may also be at a greater risk.

While there is no cure, it can be managed through proper treatment and by combating stress. If signs of bruxism are detected, therapy might be recommended. This therapy will help to change your behavior by learning how to rest your tongue, teeth and lips properly. An oral appliance can also be made and worn to help absorb the force of biting and to prevent further damage to your teeth while sleeping.

If you suspect dental damage caused by teeth grinding or if you wake up in the mornings with unexplained facial, jaw and head pain, it is important to visit Dr. Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for further diagnosis and treatment planning.