The Daily Grind: Do You Suffer from Bruxism?

Woman lying in bedroom smiling

Do you ever clench your top and bottom teeth together when you’re stressed or wake up with an inexplicable headache? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, “one in three people suffer from bruxism,” or potentially damaging teeth grinding. This alarmingly widespread condition can lead to extreme discomfort and raise your risk for other dental issues, such as decay or fracture. In the following blog, we discuss the basics of bruxism so you can find out if you suffer from this condition and seek appropriate treatment from Clear Lake dentist Dr. Flanagan and our team.

Who is at Risk for Tooth Grinding?

Some patients are more likely to suffer from bruxism than others. Common risk factors for this condition include:

  • Personality and stress level. The American Academy of General Dentistry’s fact sheet on bruxism reads: “Bruxism is triggered by people with certain types of personalities. They may have a nervous tension and a hard time handling stress. Anger, pain, and frustration can cause people to start showing the beginning signs of bruxism without them even knowing it. People who are aggressive, competitive, and hurried may also be at a greater risk for bruxism.” Many people grind their teeth unconsciously during sleep as a response to stress or other emotional factors.
  • Malocclusion. If your bite (the way your front and bottom teeth align) is distorted, you may be more likely to grind your teeth.
  • TMJ disorderBruxism and issues with the temporomandibular joint (the span of tissue that acts as a hinge between your temples and your lower jaw) are often linked.
  • Age. Many young children habitually grind their teeth.
  • Substance use. Research indicates that patients who smoke, drink caffeine, or use stimulating drugs such as Ecstasy or methamphetamine are typically more likely to suffer from bruxism.

These above can help you better understand your risks, but even patients who do not fall into these categories may grind their teeth.

Symptoms of Bruxism

You may grind your teeth if:

  • You notice yourself crushing your top and bottom teeth together at any point.
  • You suffer from numerous broken, chipped, flattened, or otherwise damaged teeth, especially if your injuries are more prominent on your teeth’s chewing surfaces.
  • You experience tooth sensitivity due to eroded, worn down enamel.
  • Your jaw or face aches or feels tight.
  • You frequently awaken with a headache.
  • You notice small tooth-shaped indentations along your tongue.
  • You’ve damaged the insides of your cheeks by inadvertently chewing them.
  • Your partner or a family member can hear your teeth grinding against each other as you sleep.
  • Your jaw cannot open or close properly.

If you experience any of the above, contact our Clear Lake dentist practice for a consultation. Dr. Flanagan will assess your teeth, perform any necessary diagnostic tests, and discuss your concerns with you to determine if you suffer from bruxism and design an appropriate treatment.

Our Treatment Options

There are many available treatments for bruxism. Most often, Dr. Flanagan custom makes night guards for patients who grind their teeth. These oral appliances cover the teeth’s chewing surfaces, shielding them from damage. We can also help repair the damage wrought by bruxism with restorative dentistry procedures such as tooth-colored fillings or dental crowns. In some cases, using stress reduction techniques or taking muscle relaxant medications may help you avoid grinding your teeth.

Put a Stop To Your Daily Grind

Clear lake dentist Dr. Flanagan can help diagnose and treat bruxism to give you a healthier, more beautiful smile. To learn more about this condition or schedule a consultation, contact our practice today.

Original Source: https://flanagansmiles.com/restorations/daily-grind-suffer-bruxism/

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