You may not have heard the term “bruxism,” but you’ve probably heard of teeth grinding and jaw clenching, two related subconscious behaviors often caused by stress, anxiety, allergies, or TMJ disorder. Treating bruxism is a simple process involving a custom-fitted mouthguard designed by your dentist. However, many bruxers (people living with bruxism) don’t seek treatment because they’re unaware of the problem. Knowing the signs of bruxism and seeking the help of your family dentist can help alleviate chronic discomfort and even save your teeth from extensive damage.
. . . You Wake Up with Sore Jaws
Surprisingly, clenching your jaw is a natural, evolutionary response to stress and fear. In fact, when confronted with a stressful situation (say, a hungry lion or an angry boss), muscles all over your body clench in preparation to either flee or fight. Unfortunately, when ongoing stress leads to chronic jaw clenching, it places excessive strain on the jaw muscles, leading to soreness. Most bruxers notice jaw and facial soreness in the mornings.
. . . Your Teeth are Sensitive to Hold and Cold
Your tooth enamel may be exceptionally strong, but it’s not impervious to wear. In a non-bruxer, the teeth wear down slowly, over the course of many years. In a bruxer whose teeth grinding against each other throughout the night (and often during the day), the process is sped up dramatically. As the enamel thins, extreme hot and cold temperatures are easily transmitted to the sensitive, nerve-filled pulp within the tooth. During a routine checkup, your dentist will notice the signature patterns of enamel wear common to bruxers.
. . . Your Spouse Complains about the Noise You Make While Sleeping
Imagine nails raking across a chalkboard. Now, imagine that noise going on throughout the night. That’s what it’s like sharing a bed with a partner who grinds their teeth. Most bruxers are unaware that they clench and grind their teeth until a fed up bedmate informs them of the problem.
About Mansfield Dental Associates:
At Mansfield Dental Associates, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris share the same vision and philosophy when it comes to patient care. We provide thorough, compassionate preventive dental services in addition to a full menu of restorative, cosmetic, and prosthetic dentistry. If you notice the signs of bruxism, you may benefit from a customized mouthguard. Contact our Mansfield, TX dentist office at 817-473-6227 to schedule your next appointment.