Do You Grind Your Teeth at Night?

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Dr. Jacueline Butler Mitchell Tooth Talk

Do you ever wake up from a night’s sleep with sore jaws and teeth?  If so, you could be grinding your teeth.  Grinding your teeth is known as “Bruxism.” Grinding can develop at any age and is usually done unconsciously at night while you sleep. During the day one may find themselves “clenching” their teeth during certain task such as lifting a heavy object.  Clenching is a form of grinding that doesn’t last as long and it is done during the day.

What are some Symptoms of Grinding

• Noted wear on the enamel of your teeth by your dentist and hygienist, especially on the chewing surfaces and can be seen on the edges of your front teeth.

• Some grinders suffer from headaches and ear aches.

• Muscle aches and tiredness with your jaws.

• TMJ discomfort.

• Some have stiffness of the shoulders and neck.

• May have fracture of teeth, fillings, and chipping of crowns.

What are some Pos• Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

• Sleep disorders

• Heavy Smoking and Drinking of Alcohol

How to stop grinding depends on the cause.  It is important to have your dentist evaluate you with a comprehensive exam and develop a treatment plan for you.  A night guard is an appliance that your dentist can make for you to be worn at bedtime and it is the treatment of choice.  If you are having severe TMJ problems your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for an evaluation.  If stress and anxiety are the causes of your grinding behavioral management is a must.  Learn relaxation techniques to help reduce stresses.  I hope this Tooth Talk has helped to explain what “grinding your teeth” really is and the damage it can cause.  If you have additional questions please feel free to call my office, Integrity Dental Care, PLLC (615) 445-8700.

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