Do you grind your teeth at night?  Have your broken or cracked a tooth or crown because you do grind your teeth?  If so this article is for you.

The condition of teeth grinding is called “bruxism.”  This condition can be painful if left untreated.

Most people don’t even know they are doing it.  If you wake up in the morning with jaw pain, headaches, chips or cracks in your teeth, you might be grinding your teeth while you sleep.

Understanding Teeth Grinding

In most cases, teeth grinding is something that occurs while you sleep, but some people do it unconsciously during the day while doing other things.  Most of the time, your spouse is the first to know you are doing it.

Those who have researched bruxism, or teeth grinding, are not exactly sure why some people have the condition, but there are a few theories.  Studies have suggested that it is mediated by the central nervous system is linked to sleep arousal patterns, brain chemistry, certain drugs, alcohol, smoking or genetic factors.

Other reasons for this condition are psychological in nature, stress and anxiety.

Both men and women are affected by the condition but seems to be most in children and lessens as they get older.  Approximately 8% of the adult population is affected by sleep bruxism.

Most Common Signs of Teeth Grinding

The most common symptom and sign is the grinding itself.  However, there are several secondary concerns.  Here are some of the signs:

  • Wearing of down of the teeth
  • Jaw muscle tenderness
  • Head muscle tenderness around the temple area
  • Jaw muscle swelling
  • Morning headaches
  • Tongue indentation
  • Pain and tenderness during muscle movement

Over time, the effects of teeth grinding can lead to great complications.  It can lead to headaches, migraines, earaches, ear congestion, buzzing or hissing in the ear, ringing in the ear, tinnitus, sensitive teeth, cracked of broken teeth, loose crowns or teeth and painful jaw muscles.  In some cases, the damage to the teeth is permanent and will require full mouth restorations to correct the problems.

Treating Teeth Grinding

If you are grinding your teeth night and waking up with any of the symptoms or signs we have mentioned, then give as a call right away.  Teeth grinding cannot be cured but it can be treated to minimize the impact on your teeth, jaw and surrounding muscles.

The primary treatment is to have a mouth guard custom made just for you.  This guard will protect your teeth and help minimize other problems.

Call us today if you have questions about teeth grinding and how we can help treat it.

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