For most people, grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw is an occasional occurrence. Medically referred as bruxism, this condition is when you clench your jaw tightly shut or grind your teeth. Although common, it’s likely you don’t know you’re grinding your teeth unless your sleeping partner lets you know or if you start experiencing symptoms, such as jaw pain.
While the concept of teeth grinding doesn’t seem as if it could cause serious harm, in reality, chronic bruxism results in serious teeth injury and even neck pain. Even if you grind your teeth on a rare occasion, the influence of constant pressure may result in unsavoury symptoms. At Smile Gallery Dental Clinic, we specialise in both the treatment and prevention of bruxism.
As with many acute and chronic conditions, the severity of teeth grinding and jaw clenching is caused by physical ailments or emotional wellbeing. For some of our patients, the onset and continuation of bruxism is a combination of both. In order to effectively stop this nocturnal situation, you must first be aware that it’s even happening.
The most common cause of teeth grinding is when the upper and lower jaw come together, but its fit isn’t quite right. Imperfect jaw alignment encourages subconscious jaw clenching or teeth grinding because while you’re sleeping, you’re trying to find a comfortable position. Unfortunately, this attempt to bring your comfort only delivers further pain and complications.
For some, the onset of bruxism is due to emotional stress. If you’re going through a stressful chapter in your life, such as experiencing major change, it’s not uncommon to clench or grind your teeth while sleeping. While nocturnal clenching is commonplace, should this bearing down by your jaw be caused by emotional instability, you’ll likely clench your jaw while awake, too. Known as waking bruxism, high-stress levels are always almost the cause.
While the symptoms for early onset teeth grinding are relatively mild and indistinguishable from other causes, as time goes on, what started as a small ache transforms into pervasive and radiating pain. Because of this, let’s take a few moments and explore the most common symptoms from both teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
Teeth grinding produces a variety of symptoms based upon several factors, which include how long you’ve experienced bruxism and its severity. As with many conditions, the earlier you start treatment the lower your chances of experiencing serious, long-term, complications. The following is a list of several of the most common warning signs and symptoms of teeth grinding:
Treatments vary based upon your severity of symptoms. For the mass majority of patients, the most effective solution is a mouth guard to prevent grinding. When worn at night, a mouth guard lowers pressure from clenching to help protect your teeth from further damage. Should your teeth already show signs of damage, the dentist will review the extent of damage and proceed with the most effective solution to repair a fractured tooth and prevent continued harm.
While the causes of teeth grinding vary, the seriousness of this condition is very real. If you feel you’re grinding your teeth at night, maybe it’s time to visit a professional who specialises in treating and preventing bruxism. Not all dentists in Box Hill deliver the level of professionalism, experience and compassion as Smile Gallery Dental Clinic.
Call (03) 9899 0288 and schedule your appointment to stop the negative effects of teeth grinding today!
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