Have you ever woken up in the morning with a sore and tender jaw or a headache around your temples and ears? You might be one of many people who grind or clench their teeth and jaws unknowingly while sleeping. Bruxism, or grinding teeth, is a medical condition that can have long-term consequences on your oral health. Teeth grinding can create painful symptoms that escalate when you are experiencing stress. Stress can compound teeth grinding. If you are wondering, “How do I stop grinding my teeth?” you’re not alone, and we can help. At Lovett Dental in Humble, TX, we strive to provide complete and comprehensive dental care that encompasses all facets of your oral health, including addressing the root causes of grinding teeth. Then, specialty dental services can help to correct any issues grinding might lead to.
How Do I Stop Grinding My Teeth: Causes
Teeth grinding can originate at any time in your life, from childhood through adulthood, and even into your retirement years. There are a variety of causes that can contribute to teeth grinding. Known as sleep bruxism, you may not even be aware of it as it happens. There are some incidences where you may grind or clench your teeth while you’re awake. This is known as awake bruxism, and you can reverse this type of grinding through behavioral and habit changes that create healthier stress coping skills.
In the case of sleep bruxism, the causes are many and diverse. If you have a family member who also grinds their teeth, you may be at higher risk. Age may also play a part in sleep grinding; many patients may experience this during childhood but then grow out of it. Other diagnoses such as epilepsy, sleep apnea, and diseases that impact the brain such as Parkinson’s and dementia may also be risk factors for developing teeth grinding.
Grinding Teeth: Symptoms
If you suffer from sleep bruxism, you may not realize that you grind your teeth. However, you may notice several uncomfortable symptoms that come with grinding and clenching your teeth while you sleep. These include:
- Changes to your teeth, including chipping, damage to enamel, and flattening of surfaces of the teeth over time. You also may notice greater sensitivity in your teeth to stimuli such as cold or heat.
- Changes to your gums, including recessing gums at the base of the teeth. Gum recession can create other oral health issues, such as the onset of gingivitis or weakening of the root structures of your teeth.
- Jaw pain and soreness upon waking and throughout the day due to the clenching of your jaw muscles throughout your sleep.
- Headaches or pain in the temples area of the head or near the ears.
- Loss of sleep due to continuous grinding throughout the night
Treatments for Bruxism
Because grinding your teeth can cause slow but definite damage to the structure of your teeth, the dentists and dental hygienists at Lovett Dental will do a thorough exam of your teeth and gums at each visit. If signs of tooth grinding or jaw clenching are present, your dentist will ask you if you are experiencing any daytime symptoms associated with tooth grinding and will further assess your jaw, gums, bite, and tooth surfaces for signs of bruxism.
The first line of treatment that your dentist may prescribe is an overnight dental nightguard. Lovett Dental is a premier provider of dental nightguards in Humble, TX. Wear the nightguard when you are sleeping. It simply prevents your jaw from fully closing and clenching while you are asleep. The professionals at Lovett Dental will answer all of your questions and create a long-term treatment plan for your bruxism.
If you notice the unpleasant and often painful symptoms associated with teeth grinding, don’t suffer needlessly. Set up a dental exam with Lovett Dental to get a full assessment for teeth grinding. Don’t let bruxism create long-term damage or interrupt your sleep. Contact Lovett Dental today at 281-441-9000 and ask about our dental nightguards in Humble, TX. At Lovett Dental in Humble, TX, we want you to love your smile again. We look forward to partnering with you and your family to create the smile and oral health you deserve.