If you find yourself waking up with a headache, a sore jaw, or sensitive teeth, you might be suffering from bruxism — gnashing, clenching, or Teeth Grinding.

This jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding habit is a common condition that affects up to 1 in 10 adults in their sleep and 1/3rd in the daytime.

While people can develop bruxism as a reaction to anxiety and stress, the habit usually lasts through the calmer periods of life — and it can wreak havoc on the body. However, to better manage and overcome it, multipronged treatments can help patients find the source of bruxism.

As a leading provider of night guards for TMJ relief, we discuss the symptoms of teeth grinding and why it isn’t something to ignore.

Symptoms

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) discomfort and headaches are the two most common symptoms of teeth grinding. In fact, people who grind their teeth are three times more likely to suffer from headaches.

Often, these symptoms are accompanied by several oral signs, like the recession of gums, fractured teeth and inflammation, and abnormal tooth wear.

  • Headache beginning at your temples
  • Loose or chipped teeth
  • Tight muscles around your jaw or jaw soreness
  • Increased tooth sensitivity as a result of deteriorating tooth enamel

Teeth grinding and bruxism have numerous symptoms that are similar to those of other conditions. Since teeth grinding or clenching usually occurs while asleep, it can be difficult to know if you’re doing it. If you’re experiencing any combination of the symptoms, keep an open dialogue with your dentist.

Consequences

Most people have bruxism without knowing it. While daytime grinding is easy to detect, bruxism includes teeth clenching, which isn’t as easy to spot. Anxiety, intense concentration, and excess stress can lead to clenching, putting a tremendous amount of constant pressure on your jaws and teeth.

Nighttime bruxism is more common in teens and kids than in adults and is more difficult to spot. A bed partner usually notices the problem first because teeth grinding makes noise.

While hyperactivity, medications, and genetic factors may make you more susceptible to bruxism, stress is typically the main culprit.

Yes, mild cases of bruxism don’t require treatment, but taking steps to stop the grinding helps you safeguard your oral health. Following are some of the issues you may face if you ignore bruxism:

Headaches

Usually, uncontrolled teeth grinding triggers migraine attacks and tension headaches.

TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder)

You have two joints that connect your jaw to your skull. These TMJs are hinges consisting of ligaments, muscles, and bones that allow you to speak, yawn, and chew. TMJ misalignment leads to dislocation, stiffness, locking, clicking, and muscle pain. If this persists, osteoarthritis can set in.

Worn teeth

Constant grinding degrades the hard enamel and wears down your teeth. This eventually leads to misshapen teeth, causes the development of an overbite or underbite, and allows the dentin layer to peek through the diminishing enamel. This makes your teeth look unappealing and unhealthy.

Receding gums

Bruxism also has an impact on your soft tissues. The continuous pressure loosens your teeth, creating pockets and gaps where your gums should tightly hug your teeth. This is another invitation for dangerous bacteria to creep in and initiate gum disease.

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Damaged teeth

Bruxism leads to tooth damage — and it’s not tough to imagine how. Great bite force and no food to cushion the blow can cause fractures, cracks, and chips, allowing bacteria to make their way in. This soon leads to tooth decay and potential cavities that need fillings.

Stiffness and pain

Frequent grinding motions and constant pressure affect your facial muscles, making pain one of the primary symptoms of bruxism. You may feel stiffness and discomfort in your ears, cheeks, neck, and jaw.

What can you do?

Treating the causes of bruxism isn’t easy. If stress is the main cause for your bruxism, it should be addressed — not just because of the damage you’re causing to your teeth, but because uncontrolled, prolonged stress has a negative health impact all across the body, including your immune system. Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to help manage your stress and mitigate bruxism-related symptoms:

Meditate

Meditation is becoming a popular way for people to promote wellness and control their stress. Meditation is neither a religious experience nor does it require anyone except you.

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If you aren’t a gym regular, take it slow at first. In fact, you don’t even have to join the gym; 30-minute walks two times a day can do a lot to reduce your stress.

Cut back on alcohol

Alcohol can increase symptoms of bruxism, even if you drink in moderation. If stress is the primary cause of your bruxism, alcohol will make things worse. Both alcohol and stress put a strain on your body. However, reducing alcohol consumption can help.

Stop smoking

Nicotine is a stimulant, and stimulants are notorious for enhancing the symptoms of stress and, therefore, bruxism.

Examine your medications

If you suffer from anxiety or stress, you may have a stress disorder that you’re treating with medications. However, certain medications can worsen the symptoms of bruxism. So, discuss your medications with a dentist and see if you can make a change to them.

What can your dentist do?

Your dentist can help stop the damage you’re currently doing to your teeth by providing you with a custom-made night guard. The custom-made night guards fit well because poorly fitted ones can be uncomfortable and wear out even faster.

Buy the best custom night guard from Clear Comfort Night Guards

Proudly handcrafted by professional dental technicians, the best custom night guards from Clear Comfort Night Guards can help you with teeth grinding and related issues like tooth damage, TMJ relief, and headaches.

Visit the website now for more information on custom mouth guards for teeth grinding!

About the Author

Hope R. Bedell is a well-known dentist working in California. She loves to communicate with her followers through her blogs whenever she finds the time.

Read also: businessesinsiders.com/a-beginners-guide-to-choosing-the-right-ethical-investment-funds-to-invest-in/

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