Some patients react to stress by grinding or clenching their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. This condition, known as bruxism, can harm teeth, as well as muscles and tissues in and around the jaw.
Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, headaches, or earaches. Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is most prevalent in women and generally found in about three-fourths of the population.
Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth cannot only cause the aforementioned symptoms, but it may also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently will result in surface wear over time, which will cause dental problems. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we’ll create an orthodontic appliance, also called a nightguard or splint, to prevent the damage caused by grinding and clenching. Many types of nightguards exist, and patients react differently to the various styles. If one appliance does not work, another may. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, our team will repair and treat you to provide complete relief.