Have you ever experienced pain in your jaw joint? It’s one of the most intrusive jaw joint issues you can have because it affects many aspects of your daily life, including how and what you eat.
While you may initially associate TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder with your jaw pain, a debilitating dental condition known as “bruxism” might also be to blame. Bruxism is a paroxysmal disorder that is characterized by the clenching or grinding of your teeth.
Reasons for Bruxism
So what causes bruxism? The answer may surprise you, as it manifests itself in unusual ways.
The leading causes of bruxism are anxiety and stress. High stress levels can cause you to grind your teeth as you sleep without even realizing it. You can wake up the next morning without ever remembering the clenching and grinding that occurred during the night. Sometimes, however, the actions can be so loud that they even wake up your partner!
Signs of Bruxism
Even if you have no memory of what’s been causing your jaw pain, you might start to notice common bruxism symptoms such as:
- Fractured or chipped teeth
- Flattened teeth
- Jaw pain
- Increased teeth sensitivity
- Tired jaw muscles
- Dull headaches upon waking
Treating Bruxism in Manchester, NH
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you need to contact your dentist right away. Treating bruxism is a race against the clock because the longer you wait, the more damage you can do to your teeth, jaw, and overall health.
Our Manchester, NH dentist can prescribe several different treatments to alleviate your bruxism symptoms. These treatments include oral appliances like splints and mouth guards, which help separate your upper and lower teeth from each other while you sleep.
Another treatment is correcting the alignment of your teeth by using Invisalign or traditional metal braces. Properly aligned teeth are more difficult to wear down through grinding and clenching while you sleep.
The best way to treat bruxism, however, is to address the underlying causes of the condition: most commonly, stress and anxiety. Speak with your dentist or medical doctor about tactics to lower your stress levels and deal with your anxiety in a healthier way, such as exercise, meditation, or picking up a new hobby.