Bruxism, more commonly known as jaw clenching or grinding teeth, is often a stress-related condition. Commonly unconscious, bruxism may occur while you are working, recreating, and even sleeping, making it something that can be very difficult to bring under control. But bringing the habit under control is absolutely essential. Bruxism causes profound damage to the teeth.
What’s Wrong With Clenching Your Jaw?
Jaw clenching can lead to stress headaches. Because this habit is a contributing factor to TMJ, it can also result in lockjaw, clicking and grinding noises when you eat, and chronic facial pain.
In addition to an increased risk for neuromuscular conditions, bruxism increases risks for:
- Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Uneven tooth wear
- Loose and missing teeth
- Gum disease
Grinding the teeth can also cause gum recession, allowing tooth roots to become exposed and creating heightened sensitivity.
An increased risk for pain, tooth loss, and chronic headaches are all consequences of bruxism. Worse still, since much of the tension can occur unconsciously, you may not even be aware of the issue until one of these problems arise. This is just one of the myriad reasons you should visit our office every six months for a professional examination.
If your bruxism is stress-related, one of the most reliable treatments is stress reduction. There are multiple techniques. Try a few to see what works best, but stick with each solution for at least a month. It takes time for the benefits of meditation, yoga, and similar relaxation techniques to take hold.
We offer a range of muscle relaxation services, including biofeedback, which may be very helpful in the treatment of TMJ and bruxism. Muscle relaxation and stress reduction can often be combined with an occlusal guard as well, to help reduce damage from future grinding.
Customized to fit comfortably into your smile, an occlusal guard will prevent contact between the teeth and provide a slight cushion when grinding, so even that which occurs during sleep can have its severity reduced. During your next appointment, we can discuss all treatment options to help you find the one that is best for your needs.
Please call Warr Dental at 801-355-5385 to schedule your consultation today.