Do you often have headaches or awake with a sore jaw? Chances are that you are experiencing the effects of bruxism, the clenching or grinding of teeth that often occurs while a person is sleeping.
Regardless of what is causing your bruxism, it is important get treatment early on in order to prevent damage and restore harmony to your mouth.
Symptoms of Bruxism
- A sore, tired jaw
- Difficulty in opening and closing your mouth
- Sensitive teeth
- Headaches or earaches
It is also possible that you clench and grind your teeth, yet notice no symptoms at all.
Dental Problems Caused by Bruxism
- Flattened or worn teeth
- Loss of tooth enamel near the gum line
- Fractured or loose teeth
- Damage to the jawbone or TM joints
Diagnosis and Treatment
Although not all causes of bruxism are known, stress is often a factor. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend a variety of stress-reduction techniques. We may also recommend medication to temporarily reduce stress and relieve pain.
Sometimes missing teeth, worn teeth, spaces between teeth, or teeth that are out of alignment may cause grinding and clenching. In this case, bridges, crowns, equilibration, orthodontics, or other dental treatments can often restore your bite and eliminate grinding and clenching.
A common and effective treatment to counteract bruxism's damage is the use of a nightguard (a plastic device that fits over your top or bottom teeth and protects your teeth from grinding forces). A custom nightguard is made from models of your teeth; your new nightguard generally offers the most effective and comfortable protection from bruxism.
Call Dr. Johnston's office today for more information: (276) 623-2211.