Regularly grinding your teeth is commonly due to a condition known as bruxism. This condition takes place unconsciously when awake or asleep. It affects the teeth, jaw muscle, and temporomandibular joints. Bruxism is related to emotional issues or certain medications in adults. However, it may be caused by teeth misalignment, obstructive sleep apnea, or allergies.
Patients with this condition have jaw or tooth pain due to the constant grinding pressure on the teeth and jaw. They remain tender and sore even when you are not grinding them. The jaw bone may feel pain as a dull ache and tension. It may also manifest in the TMJ as a sharp or achy pain. It may also cause a headache, earache or neck ache.
Do people tell you that you grind your teeth? Do you have unending jaw or tooth pain? Sometimes, you may even have some white grit in your mouth due to the breaking off of the enamel. Here is what patients should know about diagnosing and treating teeth grinding in Berlin, CT.
The condition is diagnosed by evaluating your teeth, TMJs, and jaw muscles. This physical exam is backed by an overnight sleep study test, known as polysomnography. Diagnosis occurs over several dental visits to determine whether the condition is progressive. After a definitive diagnosis, treatment begins.
Severe bruxism requires treatment to relieve jaw pain and discomfort and prevent further tooth damage. Treatment for jaw clenching and teeth grinding in Berlin, CT, is provided based on:
There are no definitive cures for teeth grinding. Several treatments by a dental expert may be needed. Some to prevent tooth grinding and tooth wear, and others alleviate the symptoms.
Treatment may involve:
Bruxism can be relieved by changing particular behavior. The dentist in Berlin, CT will guide you in practicing mouth and jaw positions that prevent tooth grinding. You will be instructed to properly rest your tongue, teeth, and lips to relieve discomfort on the jaw.
It is a method that involves monitoring procedures and equipment. They measure the amount of muscle activity of the jaw and mouth. The method teaches you how to control jaw muscle activities to prevent bruxism.
Patients who suffer from the condition due to stress and anxiety may be referred to a therapist or counselor for help. The specialist teaches them strategies that promote relaxation.
These devices are designed to prevent or correct the damage caused by grinding and clenching. They are made of hard acrylics that fit your lower or upper jaw. You may wear them at night or during the day based on when you grind your teeth the most.
Medications are not very effective in treating bruxism. However, they help relax the jaw muscles and relieve excess stress and anxiety. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants, Botox® injections, or antidepressants.
Some lifestyle and home remedies can help prevent teeth grinding. They are:
Routine exams will help your dentist in Berlin, CT spot signs of bruxism.