Some people react to stress by clenching or grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion, also known as bruxism, can harm your teeth and jaw tissues.
Dr. Buxton Explains Bruxism
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Signs of Bruxism
Over time, the friction of grinding your teeth together causes your enamel to wear down. In severe circumstances, one or more teeth may break or fracture due to extreme force.
It’s natural for your muscles to be overworked and in pain when your jaw is in constant motion (as is the case with clenching and grinding). Unchecked bruxism can lead to jaw tenderness and even lead to the development of TMJ disorder.
Your teeth are only supposed to withstand a certain amount of motion throughout the day. Excessive clenching or grinding will overburden your teeth and cause soreness in your smile.
It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when your muscles are working overtime due to non-stop teeth grinding. If you’re suffering sleepless nights and aren’t sure why, it might be the direct result of bruxism.
- Thorough Evaluation
So, how do you stop an unconscious habit? A comprehensive evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we’ll create an orthotic appliance (also known as a night guard or splint) to prevent grinding and clenching.
- Custom Night Guard
A custom-fitted orthotic appliance worn at night will act as a barrier between your teeth so that you don’t wear away enamel when you grind. Many types of night guards exist, and patients react differently to the various styles. We’ll help you find the right mouth guard for your specific needs.
- BOTOX® Injections
If the condition persists, we prescribe alternative therapies to correct the issue, including BOTOX®. Injecting BOTOX® into the masseter muscles will relax your jaw and decrease its strength so that unintentional grinding is less intense. BOTOX® can also alleviate pain related with bruxism such as soreness in your jaw.
- Stress Management
Stress is a significant contributor to bruxism. Breathing exercises, proper rest, and focused facial massages are all practices to help alleviate anxiety and eliminate symptoms caused by chronic teeth grinding.