It’s extremely common to grind your teeth once in a while, but tooth grinding is a real problem if it becomes a regular, everyday (or every night) occurrence. For many, tooth grinding is triggered by intense stress and anxiety, but for most, tooth grinding occurs when they are asleep and completely unable to control the muscles in their neck and jaw.
If you are often feeling pain or tightness in your neck and jaw, have begun experiencing more frequent headaches, and are having a tough time speaking and chewing, there’s a good chance that you’re grinding your teeth, and it’s time to make an appointment to see your family dentist in St. Jacobs. If caught early before any serious damage has been done, your condition can be treated to minimize your pain and the damage to your teeth.
Tooth grinding (or clenching, which is also very common) is also called bruxism – a legitimate disorder that dental professionals diagnose and treat nearly ever day. Bruxism can cause more than just discomfort in your mouth, head, neck, and jaw ¬– it can cause cracks in your teeth and wear down the enamel making you more likely to develop periodontal disease down the road, and in some extreme cases, it can actually cause you to wear the entire tooth down to a stump. These results can require intensive treatment including bridges, crowns, root canals and implants.
Because bruxism is a chronic problem and patients are typically unaware that they are clenching or grinding, the condition can very rarely be cured. However, like many dental problems, if you visit your family dentist regularly, they can usually spot the early signs of a problem before it becomes extremely difficult to treat. If your family dentist agrees that you suffer from bruxism, they will usually begin discussions with you about getting a mouth guard to wear when you sleep. These are small, non-invasive trays that are custom-made to fit your mouth, that prevent your jaw from locking or your teeth from touching and make it impossible for you to clench or grind your teeth.
Has your partner mentioned that you’re grinding your teeth at night? Are you feeling more soreness and tightness in your neck and jaw than normal? Call the team at St. Jacobs Dental Care today. We’ll schedule some time to assess your condition and work with you to find a treatment plan that fits your unique situation.