Do you find you frequently wake up with a headache that can be difficult to get rid of? Perhaps you have quite a lot of facial pain that may extend down into your neck and even into your shoulders? It could be that you have bruxism or teeth grinding. This is a condition where sufferers from teeth clenching. It is usually nocturnal which is why it can often go unnoticed, until you begin to develop unpleasant side-effects or sometimes a sleeping partner will complain they can hear you grinding your teeth as it is quite a noisy habit.
Bruxism Can Seriously Damage Your Dental Health
As well as causing headaches, bruxism or teeth grinding can have a serious effect on your dental health as the pressure created during clenching and grinding can chip or crack your teeth, or may even lead to them fracturing. At the very least they will begin to wear down and as the tooth enamel is ground away you may notice your teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold. Bruxism can have quite a detrimental effect on your jaw joints which are called your temporomandibular joints as the pressure can cause them to become sore and inflamed and you might notice it becomes trickier to open your mouth without pain, or that your jaw begins to click or pop when you move it. In the very worst cases, bruxism can lead to tooth loss which is why it’s important to seek professional dental care if you think you may have this condition.
Bruxism or Teeth Grinding: Diagnosing and Treatment
D&D Periodontal Associates can quickly diagnose this problem and will recommend the most suitable treatments. There are a number of ways this condition can be treated and the most straightforward is for us to supply you with a night splint. This is a clear plastic mouthguard that will fit exactly over your upper teeth so they cannot come into contact with your lower teeth, preventing any further damage. It is custom-made using an impression of your teeth so it will stay firmly and comfortably in place while you sleep.
Another way to treat bruxism or teeth grinding is to check your teeth are correctly aligned. When you come to see us, we will assess your jaws to see if your teeth are biting together correctly as sometimes reshaping some tooth surfaces can be sufficient to treat bruxism.
Bruxism Treatment in NYC
There is also another way bruxism can be treated and that is by using Botox. Most people think of Botox as being a cosmetic treatment but it can be extremely useful for helping facial muscles to relax so that you can no longer grind your teeth together during the night. There’s no need to worry as using Botox will not affect the movement of your jaw joints because the amounts used are extremely small. You will still have a complete range of facial expressions and will be able to chew and swallow normally. Botox can be extremely useful for treating the chronic headaches caused by bruxism.
If you think you might have bruxism or teeth grinding then it is well worth booking an appointment to come and see us as we can discuss all the procedures we think may be helpful, and we can talk about ways to mend any damage to your teeth.