Approximately 25% of the population deals with an oral issue known as bruxism. More people will know it by its symptoms, teeth grinding and gnashing. The two issues fall under the same title due to the end result causing the same damage. The first is simply grinding teeth together while the other is clenching the jaw tightly. The problem is difficult to discover since the consequences of these afflictions can be minimal at first. To make matters worse, you may not even know it is happening, for some people experience it in their sleep. Regardless of being awake or asleep, bruxism is practically a subconscious act and is most commonly tied to a semi-voluntary reaction to stress. There are few things we look for
How do you know if you have bruxism?
- Aching of the jaw muscles.
- Tenderness and fatigue in the jaw.
- Grinding or clicking sounds in your jaw.
- Teeth changing shape over time.
- Sensitive teeth and gums.
- Breakage of teeth, especially ones with previous dental work.
- Trismus, or difficulty in normal mouth movements.
- Indentations, or teeth marks, on the tongue.
The options in conquering bruxism are vast and varied; it’s simply finding the right method for each patient that may take time. Each person is different, so trial and error does play a part in finding a solution sometimes The dentist wants to ensure the strength of your teeth stays intact and will do everything they can to prevent invasive measures that could further harm your teeth. Here are some suggested steps and tips to try before seeking more complex dental work:
Tips for Teeth Grinding
- Avoid caffeine, being a stimulant that may magnify stress.
- Avoid alcohol. Being a depressant has proven to increase the probability that grinding teeth in your sleep will occur.
- Try herbal teas before bed, like peppermint and chamomile.
- Try a night guard to help protect teeth while sleeping.
- Avoid sweets. The sugars aren’t just bad for the teeth, causing decay at a higher level, but it also raises the blood sugar and can trigger the act of bruxism to occur, especially while sleeping.
- Relaxing and training the jaw muscles through specific exercises given by the dentist.
- Breaking habits involving chewing, an example being chewing on a pen cap.
- Take a warm bath before bed to relax the body.
- Keep lips sealed while teeth are apart with the intention of making this feeling normal.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and fiber can greatly reduce the stress in the jaw muscles.
We may suggest getting an occlusal splint, which is a dental guard made specifically for your mouth by a professional. This has been known to greatly aide people with bruxism while having their dentist help them find a technique that suits them. The cooperation of the patient is vital; the faster this issue is addressed, the more of the integrity of your teeth may be saved. If you suffer from this condition or think you do ask about it at your next dental cleaning or tooth whitening in our dentist office in fort worth.