Has your sleeping partner ever nudged you in the middle of the night because your teeth-grinding was disturbing their sleep? Do you often wake up with a sore jaw, painful molars, and a headache? Are your molars worn down or do you tend to dislodge fillings frequently? If the answers to any of these questions are “yes,” you might have a problem with bruxism, more commonly known as grinding your teeth. Check out what bruxism is and how you can stop.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is, simply stated, when you grind your teeth. Sometimes it also includes jaw-clenching. You might do it when you are frustrated, when you are sleeping, or simply as a matter of habit. The dangers associated with bruxism are pain in the head, jaw, and teeth. You might also experience neck or shoulder pain from being tense while you are grinding your teeth.
If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth, there are a few things you can do that might help. First, make sure you have your stress levels under control. Many people clench and grind when they’re anxious. Try deep-breathing exercises, yoga, talking to friends, muscle relaxation exercises, and other stress-reduction techniques. Secondly, if you notice that you’re clenching, make a concerted effort to stop. Once you are aware of the problem, you might be able to control it. This is, of course, only true if you are clenching and grinding during the day, when you’re awake.
See Your Dentist
Those who don’t find relief with self-help techniques or who grind during their sleep should see their dentists. He or she can fit you for a night guard. This is an appliance that you put in your mouth at night to stop you from grinding your teeth. It can save you a lot of pain, as well as wear and tear on your teeth.
If you are having symptoms of bruxism, please give our office a call so we can create a night guard for you or give you other tips to relieve your pain.