If you wake with jaw and tooth pain in the morning or feel unrested because the clenching is interrupting your sleep, you might be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that causes you to grind and clench your teeth while you sleep; it is a familiar issue millions of people face every year.
Many people associate grinding and clenching with stress and assume that is the problem with bruxism.
Stress may play a role, but research shows that the grinding and clenching you do when asleep is different from the clenching and grinding you might do during a stressful day.
Many people clench or grind their teeth during their waking hours as a stress response— this is called awake bruxism. Finding ways to relax and change this habit can often correct it.
Sleep bruxism, however, is much more likely to be caused by tooth or jaw misalignment and cannot be corrected by behavioral changes alone.
Why Should I Seek Treatment for Bruxism?
Ignoring bruxism can have both long- and short-term consequences. bruxism can:
- Reduce sleep quality
- Cause headaches
- Cause tooth sensitivity, aches, and pains
- Stress and tighten jaw muscles
- Cause premature damage and wear to teeth
- Increase visits to the dentist and cost you more money
Bruxism can damage the protective enamel layer, exposing the inner tooth to bacteria and making it more likely to suffer from a cavity. Cracks from the shearing forces of grinding are also more common.
Eventually, bruxism can wear down teeth enough to the point where it could cause the tooth to become sensitive or even infected.
Don't wait to get the treatment you need if you have bruxism.
How Can My Local Dentist Help with Bruxism?
Your dentist can help find the cause of the bruxism through examination and x-rays. Then the dentist may also be able to help you correct the issue.
Dentists can provide dental appliances for patients to wear overnight to keep their teeth grinding together and cushion the impact from clenching. Patients can use these dental appliances to help mitigate the effects of bruxism while seeing treatment to correct the underlying issue.
Professional Bruxism Treatment in Fort Collins, CO
If you need treatment for bruxism, contact our dental office today to schedule a time to meet with a dentist for an examination.