Are you experiencing jaw pain, sensitive teeth or has your significant other told you you’re grinding your teeth? If so, you may be dealign with bruxism. Many dental problems are based on oral hygiene – brushing and flossing – or genetics – such as tooth alignment, however certain dental problems are more difficult to classify. One of those is bruxism – a condition where a patient clenches and grinds their teeth together, often while sleeping. Mild cases of bruxism may go unnoticed and likely do not need treatment, but severe cases of bruxism can create dental complications and should be treated with the assistance of a dentist.
Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.
Because bruxism tends to be most pronounced during sleep, it may be difficult to know if a patient suffers from the condition. There are a number of symptoms that may help diagnose the condition.
Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Jaw or face pain or soreness
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
- Dull headache originating in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Indentations on your tongue(Source: mayoclinic.com)
If the symptoms seem familiar, or if you noticed the grinding in a family member, consult your dentist to see if they can assist in determining both the cause and treatment options. While causes vary patient to patient, some of the potential causes include stress, anxiety, and tooth alignment. It’s quite common in young children, but it also can be amplified by stimulants such as tobacco, caffeine, and many prescription and illegal drugs.
A trained dentist can help a patient with bruxism by addressing both the cause and effects. Some patients will be advised to consider stress management or behavior therapy, while muscle relaxers before bed may be recommended for others. Physical devices such as mouth guards may be used to protect teeth, and alignment issues may be corrected. Restoring damaged teeth with crowns may be necessary depending on the damage.
During regular dental exams, your dentist will likely will check for signs of bruxism. If you have any signs, your he will then will look for changes in your teeth and mouth over the next several visits to see if the process is progressive and to determine whether you need treatment. If you suspect you’re dealing with bruxism, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken as soon as possible.
For more information on bruxism by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.
Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.