If you experience chronic headaches, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, muscle tenderness in the face, or popping or clicking of the jaw, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth unknowingly.
Bruxism is a chronic condition that develops when a patient habitually grinds their upper and lower jaw together. Bruxism often occurs while a patient is sleeping and can be difficult to diagnose. In many cases, patients remain unaware of their teeth grinding habit until they have already developed additional dental concerns or Dr. Myers spots the tell-tale signs during our comprehensive dental exam. These can include worn teeth, damaged teeth, and bite problems.
Why Treat Teeth Grinding?
Unaware of the behavior, patients who grind or clench their teeth are often more susceptible to developing secondary oral health issues. Patients who often grind their teeth can cause damage to both teeth and gums. The repetitive grinding motion can wear down teeth, cause chips or cracks and damage the jaw joint, causing advanced TMJ related concerns. Bruxism can also be the cause of painful symptoms affecting your daily life such as headaches and muscle tension.
Teeth Grinding Can Cause:
- Gum recession
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
- Occlusal trauma
- Myofascial pain, headaches
- Excessively worn teeth
- Broken, chipped or cracked teeth
- Arthritis in the jaw
Treatment for Bruxism
Patients who grind their teeth often experience years of discomfort and facial pain before seeking treatment. Emerald Isle, NC dentist Dr. Aubrey Myers helps patients identify the underlying cause of their oral health concerns for more precise and lasting treatment of their dental health and associated chronic pain symptoms.
Through a comprehensive and personalized oral health exam, Dr. Myers can determine if a patient is experiencing bruxism. For patients who grind their teeth in their sleep, Dr. Myers offers oral sleep appliance therapy. The oral sleep device is custom designed and fit to help reposition the jaw during sleep. The device is made to prevent the jaw from being able to grind together and to protect the teeth and gums from further damage.
If you suspect you are grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, be sure to let Dr. Myers know at your next dental health exam. Early intervention can help prevent excessive tooth wear, damage to the jaw and even tooth loss. Contact our Emerald Isle dentist office or schedule a consultation online to learn more about treatment for bruxism.