Teeth grinding and clenching are referred to as bruxism by health professionals. Millions of people endure this behavior and suffer the uncomfortable side effects it can create.
Bruxism can wreak havoc on your oral health, so you should talk to your dentist promptly if you notice painful symptoms related to this condition. Dr. Robert Gauthier, a dentist in Northborough, MA, describes the importance of seeking treatment for your teeth grinding and clenching habits.
How Can I Tell If I Grind My Teeth?
Many individuals grind or clench their teeth during sleep, so it can be difficult to know if they exhibit this behavior. Their partners may hear the grinding during the night, but there are symptoms a dental patient can notice on their own as well.
Symptoms of overnight teeth grinding include jaw pain, headaches, and earaches, especially when first waking up. You may also experience a clicking sound in the jaw and difficulty chewing.
What Happens If I Do Not Treat Teeth Grinding?
Continued bruxism can lead to the development of disorders of the temporomandibular joint in the jaw, referred to as TMJ. This type of injury will worsen as the grinding action continues, leaving you with heightening pain in the jaw and face.
Teeth grinding and clenching can cause issues with your teeth as well. The pressure created from the teeth grating against each other can chip, crack, or fracture your teeth. This may require cosmetic dentistry solutions or restorative treatment with a dental crown for more severe cases.
Which Treatment Will Work for Me?
Stress can initiate or exacerbate teeth grinding or clenching, so you can look into stress relief techniques to lessen the frequency of this behavior. Your dentist may suggest wearing a mouthguard at night to protect teeth from this unconscious action as you sleep.
Bruxism may also occur due to bite alignment issues. In this case, your dentist can discuss treatments that can straighten your smile and alleviate pressure on the jaw.
These treatments may include Invisalign, porcelain veneers, or dental implants. Your dentist will perform an oral examination when you first meet with them to determine which treatment will work best for your unique dental needs.
TMJ Treatment and More in Northborough, MA
Apex Dental offers TMJ treatment and other restorative dental solutions to patients in Northborough, MA. Dr. Gauthier also specializes in implant, cosmetic, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact us online or reach our office by phone at 508.506.1691.