Clenching Teeth at Night: Periodontist NYC Can Help

Posted .

Did you wake up yet again this morning with an aching jaw? Perhaps it hurts when you try to open or close it, or even when you yawn own or speak? Maybe you have chronic headaches that are hard to get rid of? All these symptoms are pretty unpleasant and could indicate that you have a condition called bruxism (Read more: Bruxism Symptoms). This is caused by grinding or clenching teeth during the night, and as it is a nocturnal habit, many people are unaware they have this problem until it has caused quite a bit of damage to their teeth, gums and jaw joints. If your sleeping partner has complained your teeth are making a noise during the night then it’s definitely time for you to book an appointment in Manhattan to come and see us at D&D Periodontal Associates.

Clenching Teeth Symptoms

Some people will only have a mild case of bruxism and may not require any specific treatment to help control it, but for others the problem can be far more serious. Problems caused by bruxism include extensive damage to your teeth as they become worn down, chipped and cracked and in the worst case it can cause tooth loss. The pressure caused by bruxism also affects your gums and can cause gum recession. Then of course there is the problem of how clenching teeth affects your jaw joints. These are your temporomandibular joints and the pressure of bruxism can cause them to become inflamed and quite painful. This is a condition called temporomandibular disorder or TMD. The pain caused by TMD can affect your teeth and jaws and can radiate out down into your neck and shoulders. It is also known to cause headaches for some people that can last all day.

What Will Happen If You Need Treatment for Bruxism?

The first thing our dentists will do is determine why you have bruxism. Sometimes it can be caused by stress, but it may be due to problems with your occlusion which is the way your teeth bite together. Sometimes treatment could be as simple as correcting your bite through perhaps renewing old fillings or other restorations such as crowns or bridges, or maybe recommending orthodontic treatment to correct more substantial problems with your bite (Read more: Bite Adjustment). Clenching teeth is also regarded as being a sleep disorder and is often associated with sleep apnea. If you have this condition it is possible that you may need to get a proper diagnosis to see if any treatment is required.

Advanced Bruxism Treatment in New York

However, often all that is required is for us to provide you with a custom-made night guard. This works by preventing your other teeth from contacting your lower teeth so your muscles are more likely to relax during sleep, preventing grinding or clenching teeth. Some people may only need to wear their night splint for a while as bruxism is a habit and the splint might be enough to break it. Other people may need to be prepared to wear their night splint for a longer period of time. Another possible treatment is for us to use Botox in dentistry as this helps to relax the muscles and it can be extremely useful for treating chronic headaches caused by bruxism. Some people find this a more comfortable option than wearing a night guard.