What is bruxism?
Bruxism means to unconsciously grind your teeth. It often occurs while you sleep, though it can also happen during the day, often without you realizing it. Over time, untreated bruxism can lead to extensive wear and damage to your teeth, as well as increased risks of TMJ disorder, a condition characterized by improperly-functioning jaw joints.
What causes bruxism?
Clenching and grinding your teeth can be a symptom of stress or anxiety, or it can result from a misaligned bite, crooked teeth, or missing teeth. If you bite your fingernails, chew on pencils, or engage in any other harmful oral habits, you may be training your jaw muscles to clench, which will increase the likelihood that you will grind your teeth at night as a reflex.
How do you treat bruxism?
Bruxism can often be treated with a custom-designed oral appliance, which you can wear while you sleep to stop your teeth from making contact with each other. In some cases, though, simple lifestyle changes can help prevent teeth grinding. Avoid chewing on non-food items to give your jaw a break from constant clenching. You may want to avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine, both of which are known to aggravate symptoms. Finding ways to ease stress and anxiety, such as exercise or counseling, may also help.
Ask us if you could benefit from bruxism treatment.
If you experience bruxism, then seeking treatment as soon as possible could help you avoid a host of more serious dental concerns. To schedule an appointment, call the Viva Dental office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). We also proudly serve patients who live in North Dallas, Plano, Garland, North Oak Cliff, Bishop Arts District, Kessler Park, Duncanville, Grand Prairie, and all surrounding communities.