People often react to different situations in different ways, and one of these is by clenching or grinding our teeth. While occasional teeth clenching or grinding may not be an issue, doing it a lot may be a medical condition known as bruxism. Oftentimes, patients who suffer from bruxism may not know that they are clenching their teeth. Our professionals at Harmony Dental will help you identify if you have bruxism, and treat it with the appropriate management and practice.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is an oral condition where a patient grinds or clenches their teeth while they are not chewing anything. The clenching is usually a forceful push of one jaw against the other, while teeth grinding is a forced movement on the upper teeth against the opposing teeth. Naturally, we may grind our teeth unconsciously as we show emotions or when under pressure, but patients with bruxism do this more often without knowing. Bruxism may happen during awake hours or in our sleep.
Patients with awake bruxism clench their jaw or have unconscious teeth grinding during the day. Most times, it is triggered by emotional concerns. These patients often clench their teeth while they try to force their focus on an issue, or they may grind their teeth to show anger. During these periods, they may not be aware of their bruxism, but once the emotion is passed, they may realize that they have been holding a clench.
For patients with sleep bruxism, they clench and grind their teeth when they are asleep. Most times, these teeth grinding are so pronounced, that they may even be heard by people around them. They are often unaware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth in their sleep, and so they may not seek medical help early enough. Patients with sleep bruxism often wake up to symptoms such as facial pain and headaches.
Signs That You Have Bruxism
Bruxism may not present with obvious symptoms, but our professionals can help you determine with a few checks. You may experience tenderness in your facial and jaw muscles. Patients with bruxism may also suffer from cracks, chips or abrasions on the teeth. Sometimes, an overly sensitive tooth may also be a sign of bruxism. All of these may be accompanied by headaches, jaw, or facial muscle pain after a well-rested sleep.
How Is Bruxism Treated?
Most cases of awake bruxism may not require treatment. Patients with teeth grinding during the day may need to be more aware of their responses to stressful or emotional situations. Monitoring the patterns and correcting the behaviors appropriately usually helps, but sometimes, patients may undergo stress management programs.
On the other hand, patients with sleep bruxism may require that a patient wears a nightguard. Our professionals will help to design a mouthguard that you will wear while you sleep. This will be custom made for your mouth only, to ensure absolute comfort and effectiveness. Also, our professionals will look into your sleep and medical condition to see if there are disorders causing your bruxism.
Treating bruxism is fairly easy at Harmony Dental, so call us at (541) 246-3250 today, to learn more in a consultation.