Grinding your teeth may not seem like it would be a big deal, but it can cause serious problems – and it might be the reason why you’ve been having those headaches lately. And most people who grind their teeth don’t even know they do it! Read on for more information about tooth grinding, the problems it can cause, and what you can do about it.
How do you know if you grind your teeth?
Everyone grinds their teeth occasionally; bruxism (the medical term for tooth grinding) is actually quite common. You may do it during the day, but you can also grind your teeth while you sleep and not even know you’re doing it.
Your dentist can tell if you grind your teeth, but you may notice problems long before you go for that dental appointment. Bruxism can cause headaches and pain and tension in the face, jaw, and neck muscles. You may even start to have ear pain. Over time, the constant stress that grinding places on your teeth starts to damage teeth; it can wear off tooth enamel and even crack or chip teeth. It can also lead to TMJ, a painful joint disorder that can lead to your jaw becoming misaligned.
There are many different reasons why you might grind your teeth. It may be your body’s reaction to stress or anxiety, because of a sleep issue such as sleep apnea, or because of a dental issue such as missing or crooked teeth.
Treatment for bruxism and the problems that come with it varies depending on why you grind your teeth. If it is caused by anxiety, you may want to look into ways to deal with stress and anxiety. Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants for the pain or sedatives to reduce the bruxism. Your dentist may recommend a bite guard, a plastic cover you wear on your teeth at night to prevent grinding.
If you’ve been having headaches, jaw aches, and upper body muscle aches lately and you’re not sure why, bruxism may be the cause. Contact Lerner & Lemongello today for help with tooth grinding! Call the office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at (561) 627-9000!