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Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

The truth is, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. Why? Because it normally happens during sleep. Teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, is often caused by anxiety and stress, or it can be caused by an abnormal bite or missing/crooked teeth. Sleep apnea is also a known cause of teeth grinding. People who grind their teeth daily or nightly can cause permanent damage if this problem is not addressed. Do you think you may be suffering from bruxism? Read on to learn more about this condition and what you can do about it.

What is Causing Bruxism?

Bruxism is one way that your body manifests stress and anxiety without your mind even being aware. Also, substance abuse, sleep apnea, and bite and teeth alignment issues can cause bruxism.

The Symptoms

If you often wake up with a sore mouth and tight jaw, then you might be suffering from bruxism. The next time you are stressed, pay attention to what is going on with your mouth. Do you find yourself clenching your jaw and/or grinding your teeth? If so, then please come into our office at Sunrise Dental for an examination of your teeth and mouth. Also, if you notice that your teeth have started to wear down, this is another red flag that you might be suffering from bruxism. However, it’s important to know that some people will grind their molars, so teeth wear might not always be visible.

What Happens If This Goes Untreated?

If bruxism goes untreated, you could start to fracture or even lose your teeth. Teeth grinding wears the teeth down to the stumps. Correcting this problem could require bridges, crowns, implants, and partial or complete dentures to restore your smile and bite.

Your Treatment Options

If any of the symptoms mentioned on this page sound familiar to you, please tell our dentists at your next appointment. We will inspect the wear patterns on your teeth and also examine your jaw. This will help us determine if you have bruxism. Oftentimes, we will prescribe a mouth guard, which will prevent your teeth from touching when you sleep. It’s important to always sleep with your mouthguard! Before long, you will start waking up pain-free and much better rested. If the problem is more severe, we might refer you to a sleep specialist who can help you create a plan to treat your bruxism over the long term. This could mean treating sleep apnea, finding healthy means of stress relief, or something else. Do you have questions? Do you believe you suffer from teeth grinding? Please call our office.