People today commonly exhibit stress by grinding and or clenching their teeth unconsciously throughout the day or more ferociously while sleeping. Unfortunately, if one does this while sleeping, they are unconsciously exerting 6 times the force on their teeth, jaw joints and muscles than they possibly could during the day. As a result of the constant pressure, teeth can wear down, fracture, or abscess. Muscles can become extremely sore and tense up – wouldn’t you after working out for 8 hours! Also TM Joints can become inflamed or off balance. This condition is known as bruxism. Believe it or not, bruxism can even contribute towards insomnia, eating disorders, and depression!
Bruxism can appear as a sore jaw, a headache in the temple region, sore and tight muscles in the neck, earaches, and can even mimic a toothache. These patients generally exhibit other bad habits such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, inside of cheeks, etc. Causes of this disease include, but are not limited to, stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, missing teeth, and sleeping habits.
But how can you stop this habit if it is unconscious? Well, after a thorough evaluation of your teeth, muscles, tissues and TM Joints reveals a diagnosis of bruxism we can create a splint, or night guard that is specifically tailored for you. Depending on whether you are a clencher vs. a grinder there are different appliances that may work. If you have any of the symptoms above, or simply know you are a clencher/grinder, come in for an evaluation today!