Clenching or grinding your teeth too often might lead you to have a condition known as Bruxism. Bruxism can cause a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which is a condition that exists when the jaw joint is temporarily or permanently damaged. While treatment is not required for mild bruxism, severe cases of bruxism can have an impact on the health of your jaw and teeth.
Learning about Bruxism and its Symptoms
If you find yourself unconsciously grinding your teeth, you might be suffering from bruxism. This often occurs during the day when you are feeling stressed. Emotions such as tension, frustration and anger can cause you to grind your teeth as well. You might, unknowingly, be grinding your teeth at night. Some people do grind their teeth when sleeping. This is called sleep bruxism and it may be the result of genetics. You may be suffering from this condition if any of your family members have a history of bruxism. You may also experience symptoms such as headaches, damage to your teeth and jaw pain. Other medical disorders such as epilepsy and night terrors can be related to bruxism.
Will Bruxism Lead to TMD?
Those who grind or clench their teeth do not always develop TMD. But in some cases, bruxism can lead to TMD. Severe bruxism, over time, can change the way you bite. When you grind your teeth excessively, it can slowly push your teeth out of their natural position and cause damage to your teeth and any dental restoration that you may have. This may result in a misaligned bite. In order to force your teeth together, your muscle may readjust the temporomandibular joints. This misalignment can develop to TMD.
What are the Best Treatments for Bruxism?
It is important to treat or manage bruxism in order to prevent TMD. If you suspect that you are suffering from bruxism, it is important to schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. Early detection is crucial to prevent any additional damage to your teeth. These methods may help in preventing you to clench and grind your teeth:
- Wearing a bite splint may help to alleviate the pain that bruxism may cause. Movement of your jaw and teeth will be restricted when wearing a splint.
- Maintaining your stress levels will likely improve your condition. Some beneficial stress management techniques are meditation and deep breathing.
- A night guard will help to prevent teeth grinding when you are sleeping. Your healthcare provider may create a custom mouth guard for you to wear while sleeping.
Seeking Treatment at Head Pain Institute
At Head Pain Institute (HPI), we are the leading authorities in the United States for treatments of any TMJ/TMD disorders. Our treatments are non-surgical, less invasive and based on professional medical diagnosis. A comprehensive examination is the first step to manage and prevent TMD. Do not hesitate to contact us today so we can assist you to better understand your condition and address your concerns.