Do you clench your jaw or grind your teeth?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is an oral habit that could damage your teeth, gums, and jaw. Bruxism is often a subconscious habit that occurs while a patient is asleep or during times of high anxiety or stress.
Montclair Plaza Dental Office provides screenings for bruxism during your routine dental exams. Diagnosing and treating bruxism as soon as possible can help prevent the development of secondary conditions such as TMD. Over time teeth grinding can damage the delicate jaw joint (temporomandibular joint), putting added stress on the surrounding muscles and nerves and can result in long-term chronic pain. For many patients with TMD, treating teeth grinding or jaw clenching helps to relieve painful symptoms.
How do I know if I grind my teeth?
For many patients, it can be difficult to know if they are grinding their teeth because it so commonly occurs during sleep. Routine dental health exams can help your dentist diagnose teeth grinding early on to prevent damage to your smile.
You may be grinding your teeth if:
- You regularly wake up with a headache
- Have unexplained chips or cracks in your teeth
- Your teeth are wearing down
- You have chronic jaw pain or muscle tension in your face
Treating Bruxism in Montclair, CA
Oral sleep appliance therapy may be prescribed by your Montclair dentist to help you stop the teeth grinding habit. A custom fit oral appliance can be worn while asleep to help protect the teeth and jaw from further damage. The oral appliance fits snugly over the upper and lower jaw and holds the jaw in proper alignment preventing the grinding motion.
Your Montclair dentist may recommend other cosmetic or restorative treatments to repair damage caused by prolonged bruxism. Dental crowns, veneers or other restorative dental solutions can help rebuild the function and appearance of your beautiful and healthy smile.
Patients may also benefit from lifestyle changes or stress management. Exercise, meditation, or therapy may provide an effective outlet for stress relieving tension in the jaw and face.