Have you been waking up with a stiff or painful jaw? Perhaps your teeth are feeling increasingly more sensitive. In that case, it may be that you’re suffering from bruxism. Read on to discover what this condition is and how best the dental professionals at Ascent Dental Care can help.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is the term used to describe the grinding of your teeth, whether it is a habit or an involuntary action. In most cases, teeth grinding occurs as a subconscious act that happens while the person is sleeping.
Is teeth grinding bad?
Unfortunately, continued teeth grinding can cause permanent damage to your teeth as the protective layer (enamel) is gradually worn away. Teeth grinding can lead to short- and long-term symptoms such as:
- Jaw ache
- Facial muscle ache
- Stiffness/tightness in the shoulders
- Worn/cracked teeth
- Teeth sensitivity
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ; discomfort and stiffness in the jaw)
What causes teeth grinding?
Few factors could contribute to the habit of teeth grinding, including:
Stress/Anxiety – It is estimated that most bruxism-related cases can occur because of emotional stress and anxiety, which subconsciously affects you while you are sleeping (e.g. work/home issues).
Lifestyle – It is more common for people to suffer from bruxism if they smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol regularly, or take drugs.
Medicines – Psychotropic drugs that are taken to change a person’s mood (anti-depressants/psychotics) can also have the side effect of bruxism.
Abnormal Bite – An abnormal bite is an issue with how your upper and lower teeth come together. If you have crooked/missing teeth, you are also more likely to suffer from bruxism.
How to treat bruxism and stop grinding your teeth
Here at Ascent Dental Care in Loughborough, Malvern, Solihull and Tamworth, we offer comfortable devices to be worn during the night that help control the problem of bruxism, but some individuals may require additional treatments.
Mouth splint – Splints are made out of hard plastic and are specifically made for your measurements to fit over the upper/lower teeth.
Mouthguard – The Ascent Dental Care mouthguards are made from flexible rubber and cover your teeth to stop them from grinding (very similar to gum shields worn by rugby players).