Dealing with stress during the day is bad enough, but did you know that it does not just magically disappear when you go to sleep? Stress, anxieties, and worry can plague you in your sleep and may take the form of bruxism, or tooth grinding and clenching. You might not even know that it is happening, at least not until you start to notice symptoms. If you are dealing with bruxism, State Street Dental is here to help.
Is Stress the Only Cause of Bruxism?
Stress might be a big cause of tooth grinding and clenching, but it is not the only one. You might be dealing with bruxism because you have crooked teeth or other orthodontic issues. Sometimes, bruxism can happen because of what you consume. Stimulants like caffeine can cause involuntary grinding and clenching. If you are taking medications for anxiety or depression, some of these can cause bruxism. Smoking, or using other types of tobacco products, can also affect.
How Can I Tell if I Have Bruxism?
You might not know you have bruxism, at least not at first. Sometimes, a partner can clue you in by letting you know that you are grinding your teeth at night. If not, you might not notice anything is wrong until you start to feel pain in your jaw when you wake up. It may start dull at first, but can worsen the longer the issue goes untreated.
What Dangers Does Bruxism Present for My Oral Health?
Jaw pain is just one effect of bruxism. For those who do not get their bruxism treated as soon as symptoms are noticed, more serious issues can develop. Your teeth begin to wear down. The wear can become so severe that your teeth begin to look shorter. You could end up with fractured or broken teeth as they get weaker from wear. Your gums may begin receding. Your teeth may even become loose. You could also develop what is known as TMJ or TMJ disorder. This is an issue that causes extreme pain in your temporomandibular joints, which can make even the slightest movements of your mouth difficult.
What Can I Do About My Bruxism?
Fortunately, just because you have bruxism, this does not mean that you are doomed to the detrimental effects that the condition can cause. There are plenty of solutions for dealing with bruxism. One common treatment that we provide for dealing with bruxism is a night guard. This is a custom oral appliance that you wear during the night. It functions to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of bruxism, and can also help to prevent or alleviate TMJ issues. You can also help to put a stop to grinding and clenching by getting to the root cause. For instance, if bruxism is caused by orthodontic issues, orthodontic treatment may help to eliminate the issue. For those under stress, stress relief can help. Altering your lifestyle, such as quitting smoking or limiting alcohol consumption, can also be quite beneficial.
While bruxism can have some detrimental effects on your oral health and your life in general, it can be manageable, and even prevented with the right treatment. For more information, call State Street Dental at (971) 332-3020 today.