Bad habits happen to us all. We all have things we wish we could stop doing, but sometimes those things are simply out of our control! This is especially true for a habit that happens mostly at night, like grinding your teeth.
If you are one of the many, many Longmeadow, MA residents who grind your teeth, it’s time to find a solution! This habit you have actually has a term: bruxism, and it can cause severe damage to your smile!
We will talk through a lot of information about bruxism today, from what it is to ways that you can change your current life habits to correct the problem! There are often dental procedures we can complete that will ease your symptoms and bring your smile back to health and comfort!
Let’s begin with the most basic question: what is the problem?
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a habitual condition that causes your jaw muscles to tense when you are under stress or while you are sleeping. The muscles cause your teeth to rub and clench together, which will often make a terrible noise that anyone nearby will hear and recognize!
In some cases, you might actually recognize that you are clenching or grinding your teeth, but many patients don’t realize it at all. They might not find out until their sleeping partner points it out to them! In many cases, the tell-tale sign of bruxism is waking up with a headache a few times a week.
Once you suspect that you could be suffering from bruxism, we encourage you to make an appointment soon! The damage to your teeth can be extensive if you allow the condition to continue!
The Risks for Your Smile
Bruxism is more than just unpleasant or annoying. It can actually cause damage to your teeth and jaw! Your teeth can get worn down, be chipped, or even break under the stress! If it’s not damage to your teeth, then it could be damage to your jaw joint, called your TMJ. Your TMJ can become injured or strained from the constant grinding or clenching of your teeth!
Causes and Changes
Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to end the bad habit of bruxism! Some solutions are easier than others, and it might take a while to find the right solution. We must first figure out exactly WHY you are grinding your teeth so that we know how best to treat the problem!
Relax from Stress – Stress is a major factor in many bruxism cases. If you are under stress at work or cannot relax once you are home, you are more likely to grind your teeth! It is important that you find a way to relax your jaw before going to sleep. Consider doing relaxation exercises or wearing a warm compress on your jaw as you fall asleep!
Cut Back on Stimulants – Stimulants, such as caffeine, can also lead to more bruxism symptoms. You might need to cut out that afternoon cup of coffee, or avoid drinking a soda with your dinner!
Restore Damaged Teeth – Many times, bruxism is caused by missing or damaged teeth. If your upper and lower arches cannot rest together comfortably, your jaw will continue to move all night! Bruxism can be corrected by placing an implant, crown, or other type of restoration!
Correct Misalignment – In the same way that a broken tooth can cause bruxism, so can misalignment! If your teeth are crooked, they won’t fit together well, which can lead to the need to grind your teeth.
Wear a Nightguard – While we are trying to discover the reason for your bruxism and give you treatment, we might recommend that you wear a nightguard while you sleep. A nightguard is a mouthguard that you can wear comfortably as you sleep to avoid contact between your teeth. This will protect you from any further damage!
Set Up YOUR Consultation Today!
Are you ready to end the headaches that have been plaguing you each morning? Let’s find a solution together! Contact us today to set up an appointment or consultation. We’ll take a look at your teeth and jaw to try to get a better understanding of what’s going on, and then we will work to solve the problem! We can’t wait to see you soon!