Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition that many people are unaware of having until they visit an oral surgeon in Mission Viejo Ca. The reason that many people don’t know that they grind their teeth is that it happens at night while they are asleep. Chronic bruxism can damage tooth enamel and lead to more cavities or even gum disease. In order to mitigate the effects of this condition, it is important to first understand the leading causes.
If you ask a dentist in Laguna Niguel about bruxism, they might tell you that there are a variety of circumstances that can cause it to develop. One of the most common is stress or anxiety. Daily stressors can contribute to bodily tension that lasts even when you go to bed. People with a lot of stress in their life or anxiety disorders can experience muscle tension in their jaw from subconscious grinding. Other people may develop bruxism from misaligned teeth, medication side-effects, or health conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
According to a Mission Viejo Ca oral surgeon, teeth grinding affects almost 40 million people in the U.S and about 10 percent of those people experience serious damage to their teeth as a result. There are some cases in which teeth are weakened so much as to need dental implants from an Orange County clinic. Fortunately, the majority of cases seem to drop as people get older.
In order to determine if you have bruxism, an oral surgeon in Mission Viejo Ca will look for a few telltale signs:
- Chipped or broken teeth (with no cause)
- Neck, shoulder, ear or jaw pain in the morning
- Cheek injuries as a result of chewing
- Pain around the ear
- Weakened enamel
- Grinding noises when sleeping
When it comes to teeth grinding, there are a variety of available treatments that your dentist might recommend depending on the severity of your condition. In the case where tooth enamel is seriously damaged, you may consider having your teeth reshaped or getting crowns. There are also some medications that can help relax muscles or reduce mental stress to eliminate teeth grinding at night.
Many dentists will recommend getting a mouthguard for those who grind their teeth. While this will not necessarily stop the movement itself, it will protect teeth from rubbing against each other and causing serious damage. It will also help to relax jaw muscles by providing a cushion to disperse pressure and thus relieve face and neck pain.
There are also some lifestyle habits that you can adopt to minimize or eliminate teeth grinding. Here are some of the best methods:
- Exercising to reduce stress and tension
- Avoiding chewy food
- Stopping unnecessary chewing habits (gum, nails, pens)
- Meditation before bed
- Non-caffeinated tea to heat up muscles
- Applying a warm washcloth to the jaw
- Massaging the jaw
- Awareness of triggers
- A healthy diet rich with calcium and magnesium
Once you learn how to get your bruxism under control, you will be able to protect your teeth and get a better night’s sleep.