Are you wondering why you have been having more headaches than usual lately? Or maybe your face, jaw, and neck muscles are tensed up and sore all the time and you’re not sure why. It may be because you grind your teeth. In addition to the pain it can cause, it can also cause long-term damage to your teeth.
What causes tooth grinding?
Everyone grinds their teeth occasionally. Having a problem with tooth grinding (also known as “bruxism”) is actually quite common. It may be the result of stress or anxiety, or it could be related to sleep issues such as sleep apnea. It can also be caused by a dental problem, such as missing or crooked teeth or a misaligned bite.
You may not even realize that you grind your teeth. It may be something you do throughout the day, or you may do it all night long and not even realize it (although your partner may tell you they can hear it). Some people don’t realize they do it until their dentist tells them that they have done it so much that their teeth are damaged.
Bruxism can be the cause of headaches, pain in the neck and jaw muscles, and even ear pain. Over time, the stress of your teeth grinding together can cause tooth enamel to wear off, and teeth may become cracked or chipped. This can lead to infection and, eventually, it can lead to loss of teeth.
What can I do about bruxism?
Treatment for bruxism depends on the reasons behind your tooth grinding. If it is stress related, finding ways to cope can help, such as learning how to meditate or discussing your problems with a counselor. Another solution may be a mouth guard to wear at night that will help to keep your top and bottom teeth from touching each other.
If you think your headaches and jaw pain may be because you grind your teeth, your dentist may be able to help. It is also important to see your dentist so he or she can check for any damage to your teeth. Call Dr. Samuel Jirik’s office in Cabot, Arkansas, for an appointment, at (501) 843-9561!