What is bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical term for what is commonly known as “teeth grinding”.
Bruxism (pronounced BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which a person grinds, gnashes or clenches their teeth. This is usually an unconscious clenching that can occur either when a person is awake (awake bruxism) or when they are asleep (sleep bruxism).
Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are likely to have other sleep disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea.
Related post: Can a Dentist Help with Sleep Apnea?
Mild bruxism may not require treatment. For some people, however, bruxism can be severe enough to lead to jaw disorders such as TMJ, headaches, damaged teeth and other more serious problems which require further treatment.
If you require bruxism treatment in Plano, please call today: (972) 964-3774
Symptoms of bruxism
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Front teeth are worn down so they are flat and even in length
- A headache and aching jaws
- Cracked teeth and broken fillings
- Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
- Sleep disruption
- Loose teeth
It is important to know the signs of bruxism (teeth grinding) because if you have sleep bruxism, you may not even be unaware of the condition until serious complications develop.
Related post: Teeth Grinding
What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?
According to Web MD, here are some tips to stop grinding your teeth:
- Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
- If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.
- If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit.
- Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
- Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.
Ready to learn more about teeth grinding treatments in Plano, Texas area?
Contact us today to set up your free TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years of experience in testing, diagnosing, and treating TMJ Disorders. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.
You can also discuss affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.
Call us at (972) 964-3774
David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.