Do You Clench or Grind Your Teeth?
Many people clench or grind their teeth and are unfortunately not aware they do it. Whether you clench or grind, day or night, it causes long-term damage to your teeth and jaw. This condition is known as bruxism and here the dentists at the Yuba City Dental Group will present the causes and what we can do to treat it.
What Causes Bruxism?
Stress, misaligned teeth, or a combination of both causes bruxism. If your teeth are misaligned and your bite is off, it puts extra wear on your mouth and jaw, leading to clenching. Stress might also cause a patient to clench or grind their teeth, also called bruxing. In some rare cases, bruxism is a side effect of the medications Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac. Other factors may also be involved. Bruxism and clenching generally cause neck and headache pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
People with bruxism generally experience any of the following symptoms:
- Teeth grinding during sleep, heard by a sleep partner or family member;
- Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles while sleeping or awake;
- Waking up with a dull headache;
- Tight or painful jaw and facial muscles, most often after sleeping;
- Facial pain that doesn’t go away;
- Seemingly inexplicably cracked teeth or dental fillings, or worn teeth.
Any of these conditions are likely caused by clenching or bruxing.
What to Do About Bruxism
A thorough exam by one of our Yuba City dentists is highly recommended if you have any of these symptoms. Even if you are not in pain, but a family member has noticed your bruxing, it’s best to get it checked out before permanent damage is done to your mouth. Likely, your dentist or hygienist is the first to notice the habit, or confirms your family’s suspicions, due to signs of wear and tear on your tooth enamel. During your dental exam for bruxism, your dentist will ask you about your medications, sleep habits and check for any tenderness in your jaw. If the problem is dental-related, we can provide recommendations to fix it. If your bruxism is a habit or stress-related, a custom nightguard to cover and protect your teeth is advised. Some of these symptoms can also point to TMJ syndrome, which may require other forms of treatment.
Do not ignore bruxism! Enjoy better sleep, less pain and save your teeth from unnecessary damage! Treating bruxism with the Yuba City Dental Group gives you the relief you need! Call or schedule and appointment online to see how treating bruxism can help you.