Everything Whitby Needs to Know About Bruxism
Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw? Do you have more headaches than you used to? You may have bruxism, a common issue that can be easy to fix if you take the right steps.
Here’s your friendly family dentist in Whitby again with some information about bruxism.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a fancy way of referring to grinding or clenching your teeth. While grinding or clenching can happen at any point during the day – while you’re working, watching TV, reading or exercising – it usually occurs while you sleep. This is a very common issue that impacts 8 per cent of adults and 14 per cent of children, according to the Canadian Sleep Society.
How do I know if I have it?
Since grinding or clenching usually happens while you sleep, it can be hard to tell if you really have bruxism. Here are some symptoms that can help you determine if this is an issue you should be concerned about:
- Grinding sounds while you sleep
- Tight, painful or contracting jaw muscles
- Swelling in the jaw
- Popping or clicking in the jaw-joint
- Damaged teeth or gums
- Facial aches and pains
What causes Bruxism?
Bruxism is mostly considered to be a subconscious habit, but some believe that it’s caused by:
- A malocclusion, meaning when the teeth and jaw are misaligned
- A side effect of anti-depression medication
- A symptom of diseases like Huntington or Parkinson’s
How can it be prevented?
Since grinding or clenching your teeth is something you do without realizing it, and you’re usually asleep while it’s happening, making yourself stop is very hard. For those whose bruxism is stress-related, reducing that stress is key. Therapy, yoga, meditation and increasing your level of physical activity could help relieve the stress that is causing your problem. It’s also (always) recommended to cut back on stimulants like alcohol or tobacco
How is it treated?
The easiest and most effective way to treat your bruxism is by asking Downtown Whitby Dentistry to make you a night guard to stop your teeth from grinding against each other while you sleep, and prevent further damage to your teeth.
If you’d like to be assessed for bruxism, give us a call! Downtown Whitby Dentistry is always welcoming new patients.