Do you find yourself waking up with headaches or jaw pain? If so, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep, a condition known as bruxism.
While seemingly harmless, bruxism should not be taken lightly as it can lead to increased dental problems down the road. Teeth grinding and clenching can occur at day or night, but nighttime grinding is harder to control as you may not even be aware that you are doing it. Often times, patients will discover they have bruxism when a spouse is disturbed by loud grinding noises in the middle of the night.
Grinding can wear down your teeth and make them more vulnerable to damage and sensitivity. While clenching your teeth puts pressure on the muscles surrounding your jaw and can lead to temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ).
There is no hard evidence pointing to the cause of bruxism, but several studies have linked this habit to high levels of anxiety and stress. Dr. Evelina Tolchinsky DDS, one of our dentists here at Signature Smile General and Cosmetic Dentistry, says “if left untreated, bruxism could affect more than just your teeth, it could lead to tension and migraine headaches, ear and hearing issues, and of course sore and achey jaw muscles.”
Talk to one of our dentists here at Signature Smile Dental about treatment options for nighttime bruxism. In most cases, nighttime bruxism can be reduced with the use of a mouth guard. The mouth guard will not stop your bruxism altogether, but it will protect your teeth from being damaged and relieve some tension.
If you have any questions about bruxism or how Signature Smile Dental can help ease your pain, please give our Brooklyn Heights Office a call to set up an appointment today. Dr. Evelina Tolchinsky DDS and Dr. Inna Trogan DDS are always here to answer your questions.