If you have heard of bruxism before, then you probably already know that this dental problem can be a real pain, literally, for many adults. Our O’Fallon dentists are here with some more information about the ins and outs of bruxism, and what you can do about it!
Just What Is Bruxism, Anyway?
Patients who suffer from bruxism regularly grind their teeth together, and clench their jaws. For some people, this problem arises intermittently—when they are particularly stressed, for example. However, bruxism can also be a chronic condition, especially for those patients who are grinding their teeth at night while they are asleep.
How Can I Tell If I Have It?
Obviously, if you notice that you are grinding our clenching your teeth during the day, you’ll want to reach out to your dental team for an assessment. But what if you are experiencing bruxism while asleep? Look out for these bruxism red flags:
- Headaches upon waking
- Jaw pain
- Tooth pain
- Jaw stiffness
- Damaged or thin dental enamel
- Changes in bite alignment
What Can I Do To Protect My Oral Health?
Our number one recommendation is that you reach out to your dental team for an assessment as soon as you notice signs of dental grinding. Because there are a number of different causes of bruxism, your dentist will first identify the underlying cause of your condition, before making some personalized treatment suggestions.
Treating bruxism may involve:
- Wearing custom-fit oral appliances at night to protect your enamel
- Undergoing orthodontic treatment to correct bite problems
- Receiving new dental restorations to achieve a better bite
- Using TMJ oral appliances to guide your lower jaw into a better position
- Implementing stress-reducing exercises and mouth stretches into your routine
Don’t let chronic bruxism degrade your dental health. Contact our O’Fallon dentists to get more information about ways that you can protect your smile, today.