Bruxism is another term for teeth grinding. Some people grind their teeth as a habit, similar to biting fingernails. Other people clench or grind their teeth during sleep because they are feeling overly stressed. This habit has the potential to wear down the surfaces of teeth and damage joints in the jaw. If you find yourself grinding your teeth and are concerned about your oral health you may want to see a dentist.
Constantly grinding teeth is a form of microtrauma to the temporomandibular joint. This joint and the cartilage disc within it are being used excessively, and over time, they are going to wear down to the point of being painful or rendering you unable of opening or closing your jaw comfortably. Although stress certainly plays a role in TMJ disorders, it has also been shown that poor posture, bad diet, insufficient sleeping habits and misaligned teeth can also be factors.
Not only is a disorder within the jaw joint painful, but it can also lead to your teeth cracking and chipping. You need to see a dentist right away in order to get your oral health assessed. If your condition is still relatively minor, then treatment could merely consist of lifestyle alterations. Practice relaxation techniques and massage your jaw to help relieve pain.
In the event those actions are not enough, you may be prescribed a mouth guard to wear. Most people grind their teeth at night, so if you wear a mouth guard while you are asleep, it will offer protection to your teeth. It will also reduce the impact placed on your joints, reducing the severity of symptoms. Finally, bite alignment therapy is available in the event your bruxism is a result of malocclusions.
Any pain within your jaw is a good reason to contact the office of Dr. Zachary S. Sisler. Our staff treats everyone like family, so you are in good hands.