Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are other ways to refer to bruxism, but regardless of what you call it, bruxism isn’t good for your oral health.
Dr. Roberto Palmieri, accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, knows that untreated bruxism can lead to cracked or chipped teeth and that eventually you may need the restorative dentistry services available here at Palmieri Dentistry in Mooresville, North Carolina.
So, it’s important to know if you have bruxism. Catching it early allows you and Dr. Palmieri to get the condition under control before any of your teeth are damaged.
Here’s what you need to know.
Bruxism happens when you clench your jaw and/or grind your teeth unintentionally. There are two types, awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. Awake bruxism is more often tied to emotions such as stress, anger, or frustration.
Sleep bruxism can do more harm since you’re not aware you’re grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Clenching can exert up to 250 pounds of pressure on your jaw and teeth. This can cause muscle pain in your jaw, issues with your temporomandibular joint, and even headaches.
In addition to stress and anger, misaligned teeth, side effects from certain medications, sleep disorders, and sleep apnea can all contribute to bruxism. Some believe that increased stress brought on by the pandemic may be causing a rise in bruxism cases.
It’s easier to suspect that you have awake bruxism if you catch yourself clenching your jaw during the day. But you might only suspect you have sleep bruxism if you spot the symptoms.
You might have bruxism if:
If you think you might be grinding your teeth, Dr. Palmieri can examine your jaw muscles and teeth for signs of bruxism.
Bruxism is often diagnosed based on a physical exam and a review of your symptoms, but you may require a polysomnography (a type of sleep study) to confirm or rule out bruxism.
Thankfully, you don’t need to suffer with headaches and jaw pain. Bruxism treatments include stress management, a night guard, or Botox® injections. Botox treats bruxism by relaxing the muscles that cause your jaw to clench.
If you have underlying conditions, such as sleep apnea, that contribute to bruxism, it’s important to address those issues as well.
Suspect nightime clenching is contributing to your symptoms? To get started, call our office at 704-247-6336 or book your consultation online to explore your bruxism treatment options.