What is bruxism? Bruxism is an involuntary grinding and clenching of the teeth most often occurring while sleeping. Its daytime and more serious variety is referred to as TMD/TMJ. Involuntary grinding and clenching of the teeth are thought to be caused by intense concentration or situational stress and anxiety. Bruxism causes significant damage to the teeth and jaw. Not only does the strong vertical force of grinding the teeth break them over time, it also leads to TMD/TMJ. TMD/TMJ, also known as lockjaw, is essentially the limited mobility of the jaw or difficult movement of the jaw due to this repetitive motion or pressure on the interconnected tissue, nerves, joints and muscle.
Symptoms of bruxism are worn enamel, teeth breakage, tooth and jaw pain, headaches and jaw aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak with a dentist today about being assessed for bruxism or TMD/TMJ.
Treatment for Teeth Clenching
Several general dentistry options
are available for treating bruxism. If you are grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping, you most likely will be fitted with a nightguard, which is a protective barrier against this involuntary nighttime habit. During the daytime, here are a few strategies to change this involuntary behavior:
- Consciously relax your face and jaw
- Reduce your stress
- Drink more water
- Plan to get more sleep
Consciously relaxing your face and jaw during the day helps enable muscle memory to do the same while sleeping. Since bruxism is caused by intense concentration or situational stress and anxiety, reduce as many stressors as possible. Drinking more water, changing the diet and exercise are the usual suggestions for better health; but you know what relieves your tension. Do more of this activity. Getting more sleep, if you are not getting the recommended amount, is a sure way to boost your health.
Contact us to speak with a dentist at South Blvd Dentistry for more tips today or schedule an appointment to be fitted with a nightguard.