Most people grind or clench their teeth occasionally without causing lasting damage. The problem comes when the habit becomes continuous or unconscious. Since grinding and clenching teeth can happen during sleep, you may not even be aware that you are doing it. This is known as bruxism. Stuart Dentist treats mild to severe cases of bruxism in Stuart, FL.
Oral Health Problems Caused by Bruxism
For most people who grind or clench their teeth during sleep, the first sign that something is wrong is that they wake up with sore jaw muscles. Eventually, you could develop a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). The temporomandibular joints connect your skull and jawbone together. Without these joints, you would be unable to open and close your mouth.
Other potential problems caused by bruxism include:
- Changes in appearance
- Jaw pain
- Loose or fractured teeth
- Neck pain
- Pain while eating
- Poor sleep
- Possible tooth extraction
- Worn teeth
Bruxism is a common problem affecting approximately one in 10 adults and 15 percent of children in the United States. The important thing is to seek help from Stuart Dentist as soon as you recognize the signs of bruxism.
Diagnosing and Treating Bruxism
When you come in for an appointment, your dentist will inspect your teeth, jaws, and temporomandibular joints for signs of bruxism. The good news is that you can make several lifestyle changes at home to reduce your symptoms and discomfort. Typical examples include reducing stress, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake.
You can also sleep with a nightguard each night to prevent you from grinding and clenching your teeth subconsciously. You should see your symptoms gradually disappear if you wear the nightguard faithfully and become more aware of the stressors in your life. Please contact us to begin treatment for bruxism in Stuart, FL, today.