Do you often find yourself clenching and grinding your teeth in stressful situations? Do you wake up with jaw pain or a headache?
Teeth clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition that can occur at any age. This dental concern may be the result of stress and anxiety, paired with a clenched jaw. Patients with a crooked or misaligned bite are more prone to this condition. Dr. Glen Wainwright treats teeth grinding in Austin, Texas at Austin Dental Care. Treatment can help prevent further damage to teeth. But first, what other symptoms accompany bruxism?
Common Signs of Bruxism
Signs of bruxism may include:
- Tooth pain
- Facial pain
- Jaw soreness
- Teeth clenching
- Worn teeth
- Muscle tenderness
- Loose teeth
- Fractured teeth
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, call Austin Dental Care at 512-518-6392. You could be developing bruxism. Patients may need multiple treatments for bruxism, depending on the severity of damage to teeth. Tooth enamel can become weaker over time with increased tension.
Clenching or grinding teeth increases pressure on teeth as well, and its pressure is 40 times stronger than the pressure exerted from normal chewing. When left untreated, bruxism can cause severe damage to the teeth, jaw muscles, and joints.
There are a lot of potential causes for teeth grinding, or bruxism, and stress is often one of them. In fact, dentists estimate that up to 90% of people who grind their teeth do so because of stress.
If you’re concerned that stress is the cause of your teeth grinding, there are a few things you can do to try to mitigate it. First, try to identify what’s causing your stress and address it head-on. Secondly, make sure you’re taking care of yourself mentally and physically; get enough sleep, eat a healthy, and exercise.
Treating Teeth Clenching and Grinding
Dr. Wainwright offers oral appliances as a treatment option for bruxism. They act like mouthguards but you wear them mostly at night to protect teeth and keep them from grinding together. Oral appliances can fit over your upper or lower teeth to take the pressure off of the jaw.
Patients who have broken or damaged teeth from severe teeth clenching and grinding can benefit from receiving a dental crown. This restorative treatment also protects teeth from further wear and tear by covering them like a cap. Dental crowns are also custom-made to blend in with natural teeth.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
What damage can grinding teeth cause?
Grinding teeth regularly can cause damage to the surface enamel of teeth. Damaged enamel does not grow back. Teeth grinding can also lead to chips and cracks in teeth, as well as tooth decay.
Is stress making me grind my teeth?
Stress is one of the leading causes of teeth grinding. When you’re feeling stressed, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones can cause your jaw muscles to tense up and your teeth to grind together.
Other causes of teeth grinding include anxiety, sleep disorders, and certain medications. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of bruxism, such as jaw pain, headaches, or a clicking sound when you open your mouth, it’s important to see our dentist. We can help you determine the cause of your grinding.
How does teeth grinding change your face?
Teeth grinding can change the shape of your face. Many people who do not treat their teeth grinding find that their face may become wider, or they may develop facial sagging. This is from excessive use of facial muscles to grind teeth, and damage done to bone structure from grinding.
Does Botox stop teeth grinding?
Some studies have shown that botox treatment blocks some of the signals sent between muscles to contract, which may prevent a patient from grinding their teeth.
What happens if you grind your teeth for too long?
Patients who grind their teeth for extended periods are more likely to experience tooth pain, fracture, headaches, and TMJ. TMJ is a muscular problem in your jaw that causes it to make a clicking noise, and may inhibit jaw mobility. It is important to protect against teeth grinding so that that does not impact other areas of your oral health.
Can you train yourself to stop grinding teeth?
Some patients have successfully trained themselves to stop grinding their teeth. For example, you can put your tongue between your teeth when you notice yourself grinding them. This will relax your jaw muscles, and will temporarily protect your teeth.
Schedule a Dental Exam with our Dentist at Austin Dental Care
Dr. Wainwright is a dentist in Austin, Texas that ensures that his patients get high-quality dental care in a relaxing environment. Call his office for treatment at 512-518-6392. You may also request a consultation with Dr. Wainwright on our website.