Bruxism - Put Your Teeth Grinding To Rest

Oct 19 09:18 2010 Gen Wright Print This Article

Many people may grind and clench their teeth from time to time.

Occasional teeth grinding,Guest Posting or bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged causing other oral health complications to arise. Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it may often occur during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you grind your teeth, you may unconsciously clench your teeth together during the day or grind them at night. Your bruxism can be mild and may not require treatment. Unfortunately, it can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other dental problems. Since bruxism may occur while you are sleeping, you may be unaware of it until complications develop. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care from your Lincoln Park dentist.

Causes and Symptoms

Occurring frequently in your sleep, it is often difficult to recognize if you have bruxism. There are a number of signs that can indicate if a person is suffering from teeth grinding such as, your teeth may appear worn down with tips that look flat. Some teeth become so worn that the enamel comes off which then exposes the inside of the tooth causing extreme sensitivity. Many people report pain in their jaw that can produce popping or clicking noises. Additionally, as a result of excessive clenching, a key indicator of bruxism can be indentation on the tongue.

Other symptoms include:

* A grinding sound at night

* A dull morning headache

* Occasional swelling on the side of your lower jaw

* Painful jaw joint

* Long-lasting pain in the face

* Damaged teeth, broken dental fillings and injured gums

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, if you bite your fingernails when you are stressed, chew on a pencil or clench you jaw during sports competitions, you could be at a greater risk for bruxism.

If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is important to visit your Lincoln Park and Lakeview dentist to discuss the problem. It is always important to bring attention to an oral issue to prevent further problems.

Tips for Prevention

One way to begin prevention is to watch what you eat. Certain foods have been shown to increase instances of teeth grinding, so it is helpful to avoid drinks that contain caffeine like coffee or cola. Research has also shown that grinding behaviors may increase after the consumption of alcohol.

Chewing gum on a regular basis can also contribute to bruxism because it conditions your jaw muscles to become more used to clenching. You can help train yourself by simply placing your tongue between your teeth any time you notice a clench. This type of habituation can help you to train your muscles to relax and reduce clenching.

Treatment and How Your Dentist Can Help

Dr. Jeffrey Feffer, your dentist in Lincoln Park and Lakeview automatically checks for physical signs of teeth grinding at every regular check-up and cleaning. If bruxism seems to be present, it may need to be observed over several visits before recommending treatment or starting therapy. The main objective of therapy is to get the bruxer to change their behavior by learning how to rest their tongue, teeth and lips properly. When some people become aware of their problem, simply advising them to rest their tongue upward with teeth apart and lips shut may be enough to change their behavior.

Call your Lincoln Park and Lakeview dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Feffer, if you have symptoms of bruxism, or if you are told that you grind your teeth when you sleep. It is also important to visit your dentist if you break a tooth, lose a filling, or notice your teeth are becoming worse. The earlier bruxism is identified, the better it will be in treating the symptoms. Consult your Lincoln Park dentist for more information on bruxism and how you can further prevent teeth grinding.

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About Article Author

Gen Wright
Gen Wright

Dr. Jeffrey Feffer is a leading and experienced dentist in Lincoln Park. Bringing 29 years of experience to the dental field and a passion for helping each patient achieve their best smile, this Lincoln Park and Lakeview dentist is qualified to handle any dental need for patients of every age.

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