Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a commonly reported problem from dental patients in our New Braunfels office. In fact, it affects about one-third of the population. Though clenching or grinding may happen in the day, it is most commonly experienced at night, before bed or while sleeping.
While some people think it harmless, teeth grinding, overtime, can pose severe risks when left untreated. Furthermore, it can contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, cracked or broken teeth, and jaw alignment issues.
Do you often experience soreness in your jaw, headaches, or earaches? If so, you might suffer from bruxism. Many people are aware of occasional pain and tension in their jaw, but the actual habit of teeth clenching or grinding happens on an unconscious level, and therefore can be difficult to correct without professional intervention.
Factors that contribute to teeth grinding and clenching include:
· teeth misalignment
· stress and anxiety
· poor posture
· sleeping habits (such as sleeping position)
People with habits of biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the inside of their cheeks are more likely to suffer from bruxism. In addition, it more commonly affects women.
When you come into our New Braunfels office for an evaluation, we will assess proper treatment protocol for you. Most commonly, we will fit you with an orthopedic appliance called a nightguard. A nightguard, also known as a splint, is worn throughout the night, while the patient is sleeping.
While nightguards are the most common treatment protocol, there are different sizes and styles. Occasionally, patients may have to try more than one before finding a solution.
There are also other therapies to treat bruxism that can be done in conjunction with a nightguard. These include relaxation of the jaw and face muscles via massage, alternating between hot and cold topical treatments, stress and anxiety management, or eating soft foods.
Are you suffering from teeth grinding or teeth clenching? Call our New Braunfels office today.