5 Signs Of Bruxism And 3 Potential Treatments

5 Signs That You’re Clenching & Grinding Teeth

Bruxism (Clenching or grinding our teeth and jaws) often occurs while we are sleeping. Because of this, we often don’t realize we’re doing it or the reason for our headaches, sore and tight jaws or chipped or cracked teeth! Read on to discover the top 5 signs that you may suffer from bruxism.

#1 Headaches

Headaches can be the symptom of a variety of things, but when you spend your nights clenching and grinding, the jaw tension inevitably leads to a dull headache that starts in your temples. You may also feel like you have an earache, but the problem isn’t actually with your ear but your jaw. In addition to headaches, bruxism often causes soreness and pain in your jaw, neck, and/or face.

#2 Jaw Pain

Jaw clenching naturally tires out the jaw, leading to jaw pain or even a locked jaw that won’t open or close as it should.

#3 Sensitive Teeth

If you’ve noticed that your teeth have become sensitive to hot or cold food or drinks, your enamel may be worn down from excessive grinding, which exposes deeper layers of your teeth.

#4 Damaged Teeth

During a regular cleaning, your dentist may inform you that some of your teeth are chipped, flattened, fractured, or loose. Bruxism can damage the surrounding soft tissues and lead to gum recession and disease.

#5 Sleeping Poorly

Not sleeping well? Sleeping partners of those with bruxism are often awakened by loud sounds of teeth grinding. However, teeth clenching is silent but is equally damaging to teeth and the surrounding periodontium.

Countdown: 3 Ways to Treat Bruxism

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your dentist today or discuss your concerns at your next dental appointment. Below are the best ways to treat your bruxism in the meantime.

#3 Reduce Your Stress Levels

Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders, but it has no one cure. Since its symptoms often stem from anxiety and stress, looking for ways to relax will help. Consider practices that help to reduce any anger or frustrations you are managing. Physical exercise, yoga and meditation are all popular stress management techniques.

#2 Over-the-Counter Pain Management

Supplementing your stress reduction treatment plan with the occasional use of Motrin or Tylenol as directed when headaches are at their worst will help ensure you get a better night’s sleep. Pain medication should not be used on a regular basis without consulting your physician as it may have detrimental effects to your kidneys and liver.

#1 Night Guards

Night guards are designed to reduce the abrasive grinding that takes place while you sleep. When worn every night, they help prevent tooth damage, jaw pain, and headaches by limiting the amount of contact that takes place between your upper and lower teeth. For more information, read our page on night guards.

Bruxism is a common problem that one in three people suffer from on a daily basis. Although it can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw, there are both natural and conventional treatments that provide relief and reduce the harmful effects to your teeth. Consulting your dentist and creating a plan is the best way to ensure you keep your teeth protected and your grinding and jaw clenching in check.
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