Teeth grinding (bruxism) may seem like a relatively harmless behavior. However, when the grinding of teeth becomes frequent or excessive, serious oral and even systemic health issues can follow.
Tooth grinding is something you may be aware of. Perhaps you notice it when you’re stressed or catch yourself clenching your jaw when concentrating. In other cases, teeth grinding may occur during sleep and only be noticeable by way of jaw tension or pain when you wake up – if it’s noticed at all.
Jaw pain, headaches, disproportionate tooth wear, and even loose teeth can all be related to bruxism. Teeth grinding may also be a cause of TMJ, a condition that can cause facial pain, lockjaw, and eventually change the quality of your posture and digestive system. If you notice your tooth grinding is becoming excessive or you begin to suffer symptoms of TMJ, it is a good idea to contact our office and schedule a treatment consultation with Dr. Jean Morency as soon as possible.
Treatments for Teeth Grinding
Our Houston dentists may suggest a customized mouthguard for the treatment of nocturnal tooth grinding. The mouthguards we offer are personalized to fit comfortably in your mouth and are useful at preventing damage to the teeth while you sleep. Jaw relaxation exercises, warm compresses, and paying closer attention to your behaviors may be recommended for the treatment of daytime teeth grinding.
Because bruxism is often an unintentional response to stressors or anxiety, behavioral changes can be very helpful in preventing daytime occurrences. This may include cutting down on caffeine, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, refraining from smoking, and not chewing gum. During your treatment consultation we can discuss behavioral modifications to help give you the tools you’ll need to address your teeth grinding and protect your health.