While it may seem a logical question, the truth regarding those that grind their teeth is that many do not realize that they are doing it. Yet, for those that are aware, perhaps you grind your teeth during sleep, causing you to wake up with facial pain or a headache. In turn, maybe you grind your teeth during certain daytime activities, or when you are stressed. Though grinding your teeth is not a tooth disorder, it does have a name—Bruxism. Factors and symptoms vary from person to person, and many believe that they are connected to anxiety, misalignments of the teeth, posture, diet, and sleep patterns. Even so, dental professionals warn that Bruxism can wear down the enamel of teeth over time, contribute to painful ear infections, and problems with the jaw joint.
For individuals that believe they grind or clench their teeth at night, you’re well aware of the dull ache, muscle tension, and tightness in the neck and jaw when you wake up. Though the exact causes of sleep-related Bruxism is unclear, some classify it as a sleep movement disorder. Others claim that it’s related to medication or genetics. Either way, the following symptoms are often reported in those that grind or clench their teeth during sleep:
- Eating Disorders
- Tooth Sensitivity Insomnia
- Muscle Tenderness (Neck, Shoulders, Jaw)
Is It Possible to Stop Grinding My Teeth?
For those suffering from the achy symptoms of Bruxism, it’s easy to understand why they want to stop. Studies indicate that the best preventative measure involves managing stress and anxiety, as these are believed to either initiate Bruxism or make it worse. While this is easier said than done, there are other ways to relieve symptoms and prevent further damage to teeth, including the following:
- Apply ice or moist heat packs to neck, shoulders, or jaw
- Avoid eating hard foods or sticky, chewy foods that require heavy chewing
- Do not chew gum
- Drink plenty of water
- Stretching and Relaxation Techniques
A Unique and Better Dental Experience
At Seneca Family Dentistry, you’ll find a unique and better dental experience that caters to your needs. While we realize that Bruxism can be a debilitating condition to live with, we want you to know—your prognosis is good. Contact the team at Seneca Family Dentistry today, and let us help reduce your pain and stop the damaging effects of grinding your teeth.
Posted on behalf of Seneca Family Dentistry