Have you ever been a jaw clencher or tooth grinder? If so you may have experience some of the discomfort that comes with tired, achy jaw muscles that never get relief! Grinding and clenching, also called bruxism, can have a lot of serious effects on the long-term health of your teeth. It’s important to seek treatment for bruxism before you seriously damage your teeth!
At 7 O’Clock Dental we see a lot of patients who suffer from bruxism and many don’t even realize it! Bruxism during the day can happen but it’s far more common for grinding and clenching to happen at night when you don’t even realize it’s going on. That’s why bruxism is so dangerous – it can continue to happen without you ever knowing!
Some patients suffering from bruxism will learn about their condition when a spouse or partner is woken up by the sounds of clenching and grinding but the only other way to figure it out is by signs of wear and pain!
What Can Bruxism Do To Your Teeth?
There are a lot of potential problems caused by bruxism. Some are simply short term and are easily relieved by treatment at our New Orleans dentist office.
Short-term bruxism symptoms include:
- headaches and migraines
- pain in your jaw muscles
- loosening teeth
- disturbed sleep
- pain in your shoulders and neck
- gum recession
- trouble opening your mouth all the way
These symptoms can be pretty severe and you may find yourself having difficulty eating, drinking, and speaking when they exist together.
Over time bruxism can continue to cause problems with your teeth and jaw, leading to serious conditions like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and extreme wear on your teeth. Worn down teeth are at increased risk for infection, decay, fracturing, and sensitivity to temperatures. TMD is an incredibly painful condition and is due to serious damage in the joint that connects your jaw to your skill.
TMD symptoms are similar to the ones you experience due to bruxism but they are often a lot worse! You can also experience lockjaw, aching pain in the face, and extreme pain in your jaw, shoulders, and neck. If you think bruxism is painful then TMD will be something you definitely want to avoid!
If caught before you start to do serious harm to your teeth and jaw the team at our New Orleans Dentist Office can relieve your bruxism pain and help you and your partner sleep better at night. We treat bruxism by prescribing you a custom-fit nighttime mouthguard that you wear while you sleep. Our mouthguards are soft and comfortable and they help prevent you from being able to clench and grind your teeth against each other. Your jaw will be held in a neutral position that encourages relaxation and comfort too!
For patients who don’t find complete relief from a mouthguard we are also able to prescribe muscle relaxants to help your jaw ease into a comfortable, relaxing position at the end of the day. If you are experiencing some of the advanced symptoms of bruxism we also offer treatments to restore your damaged teeth and perfect your smile.
We want to help relieve your pain and for most patients we can do so in just one visit! If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from bruxism then don’t wait – it won’t get better without treatment!