Teeth Grinding or Bruxism – How It Affects You and How You Can Cope
Bruxism refers to the habit of teeth grinding or teeth clenching. It often occurs during sleep, and it can cause significant damage to your teeth, jaw, and existing dental work. Dental experts used to believe that the behavior was related to the way upper and lower teeth fit together, but stress has now been confirmed as the primary causative factor. Teeth clenching and grinding causes excessive wear-and-tear damage to tooth enamel. Eventually, tooth sensitivity, decay, and arthritis in the jaw may result. The problem can also contribute to bone loss if you have periodontal disease.
5 Teeth Grinding and Clenching Facts
- You’re probably aware of your teeth grinding habit. You may wake up with a tired or stiff jaw, or your bed partner may report hearing teeth grinding noises at night.
- Some people clench or grind their teeth constantly without realizing it. Jaw pain that gradually gets worse during the day can be a symptom.
- Teeth grinding is more common in women and may be hereditary. It typically affects people between the ages of 20 and 40.
- Teeth clenching can cause more damage than teeth grinding. Jaws were designed for chewing, and clenching causes the joint to degenerate.
- Intermittent teeth grinding may cause more damage than regular grinding or clenching.
Coping with the Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Your dentist in Baltimore can identify damage caused by teeth grinding and develop a treatment plan to prevent further bruxism problems. The following tips may help you cope with teeth clenching and grinding until you can get professional dental help.
- If your jaw hurts, avoid hard and chewy foods until the pain resolves.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help reduce discomfort.
- Reduce stress by exercising regularly.
- Use relaxation techniques such as massage, warm compresses at night, or warm baths to relieve muscle tension and stress.
- Make a point of relaxing your jaw when you feel tense. Your lips should be closed, but your teeth should only touch when you are chewing and swallowing.
- Until your dentist can provide a custom appliance for long-term wear, wear an over-the-counter night guard to prevent tooth damage.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Baltimore, call Dental One Associates at Beltway today at (410) 775-5536 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Baltimore. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates at Beltway, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates at Beltway.