Do you ever wake up from a night's sleep with sore teeth and jaws? You could be grinding your teeth. This is known as bruxism and is usually done unconsciously in your sleep, but it can also occur when you are awake.
- Jaw (temporomandibular) joint discomfort, clicking or locking
- Aching or enlarged jaw muscles
- Stiffness of neck or shoulders
- Tooth wear and or fracture of teeth.
Stress, anxiety, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, depression and sleep disorders are all possible causes of teeth grinding, also according to the Bruxism Association.
The best way to protect your teeth and prevent tooth wear and fracture is to wear an occlusal appliance. There are different types to suit different people and your dentist is the best person to talk you through those options. These appliances are custom made, specially fitted plastic mouthpieces that fit over your top or bottom teeth.
Wearing one of these appliances will reduce jaw muscle pain and protect both your teeth and temporomandibular joint. The appliances are usually worn at bedtime and are considered the treatment of choice.
If anxiety or stress is believed to be the cause of your grinding, then behavioural management and promoting better sleep habits are paramount. Sometimes a combination of behaviour modification and occlusal appliances is required
If you feel this does concern you call us to make an appointment or mention this subject at your next visit.
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