Tria Dental Tysons
Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Vienna, VA
A Tip from Your Family Dentist - Dr. Patrick Shine
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition that you may be completely unaware of until complications arise. At Tria Dental Tysons in Tysons Corner and Vienna, Virginia, Dr. Shine and the expert team of dental professionals want to help you correct the negative effects of bruxism before you incur extensive costly damage to your teeth. Contact the office today or schedule a consultation online.
Bruxism Q & A
Tria Dental Tysons
What are the causes and signs of bruxism?
Awake bruxism happens during the day when stress, anxiety, or emotional issues cause you to clench your jaw or grind your teeth. As a result, you may experience pain in your neck and face. Adults with bruxism are three times more likely to suffer from headaches than those who do not grind their teeth or clench their jaws.
Sleep bruxism happens at night and is considered to be a sleep disturbance. If you wake up with a tired jaw, pain that feels like an earache, or tooth pain and sensitivity, you may be experiencing sleep bruxism symptoms. If left untreated, over time the effects of bruxism can lead to serious dental issues including worn tooth enamel and flattened teeth that have deteriorated from excessive grinding. Your teeth may become loose or chipped if grinding occurs often enough.
How do I know if I grind my teeth?
Family members may alert you of bruxism, because they hear you grinding your teeth at night. If you are not aware of teeth grinding while you’re awake, Dr. Shine has the experience to detect the signs. During routine exams, he looks for indications of wear and tear on your teeth as well as jaw tenderness and other oral symptoms.
Why is bruxism harmful?
In addition to uncomfortable symptoms like headaches and ear pain, chronic teeth grinding can require extensive dental work like bridges, crowns, or tooth implants. Bruxism can also lead to complications of your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, resulting in pain and clicking noises when you open and close your mouth.
How do I stop grinding my teeth?
Poor dental health can lead to a host of other issues, so taking care of your teeth before you have irreparable damage is essential. Some tips to help you stop grinding your teeth and minimize damage are:
- Avoid foods and drinks with caffeine just before bedtime
- Avoid drinking alcohol since it intensifies grinding
- Avoid chewing gum or anything other than food
- Practice stretching your jaw while you’re awake to relax the muscles
- Before bed, hold a warm washcloth against your cheeks to relax your jaw
Dr. Shine advises patients of all ages how to best rehabilitate their mouth and teeth as a result of bruxism. Call or schedule a consultation online to learn how he can help you.