Countless individuals grind their teeth, either in their sleep or as a habit. However, this may not just wear you down but also your enamel. Bruxism, the medical term for tooth grinding, affects one in every four dental patients and the figures are only rising. Dr. Barber at Alliance Family Dental in Fayetteville, NC would like you to be aware of the dangers of grinding your teeth.
Causes of Bruxism
The reasons why people grind their teeth are varied, with cases being brought on due to emotional stress as well as a physical reaction, to loss of sleep. Some people grind their teeth while they are unconscious and in the middle of sleep, while others do so throughout the day while they are awake.
Excessive teeth grinding can result in permanent enamel damage in the form of fractured teeth, teeth sensitivity and tooth decay. Other know consequences of teeth grinding include receding gums, premature tooth loss and inflammation of the gums.
Signs of Bruxism
Especially for people who do aren’t aware that they are grinding their teeth, some of the signs and symptoms of bruxism include tenderness of your jaw and pain in your facial muscles. It’s also common for sufferers to have migraines due to the pressure produced throughout the grinding episodes. Another complication of teeth grinding is Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder, which is characterized by pain in the jaw joints as well as clicking of the joints whenever you open your mouth. Pressure on the nerves and muscles within the jaw and facial region also means that people with TMJ suffer periodically from very painful migraines. Dr. Barber can examine you and determine if your grinding has progressed to where you now suffer from TMJ.
The only way to treat bruxism is to address the underlying cause of the condition. For instance, individuals who are suffering from anxiety, and hence they grind their teeth, should see a psychologist in order for them settle any issues which may be the root cause for why they have the condition. Another way that individuals can treat their bruxism is by doing physiotherapy exercises which is aimed at breaking the teeth grinding habit of sufferers.
While a sufferer is still working at resolving the underlying cause for his or her teeth grinding, he or she could choose to use mouth guard. Mouth guards are removable appliances which are placed inside a sufferer’s mouth while sleeping in order to protect the teeth from the effects of grinding.
Set up an examination with Dr. Barber to prevent more damage from teeth grinding. His patients in Fayetteville, NC and the surrounding area have benefited greatly from his expertise!