What are the symptoms of teeth grinding?
Many people don’t even realise they grind their teeth, especially while sleeping. There are symptoms of bruxism that you can look out for, however. The most common signs are:
- Jaw pain and neck pain
- Pain in your teeth, face or temples after waking up, similar to tension headaches
- Tense or aching muscles
- Teeth that are sensitive to temperature
- Chipped or cracked teeth
What are the risks of grinding your teeth?
Bruxism will not always cause serious problems, but damage to the teeth is possible in cases of severe grinding. Damage caused by bruxism includes eroded, painful or loose teeth. Dental fillings, crowns and implants can also be affected.
Bruxism is sometimes linked to a jaw problem called temporomandibular joint disorder. This disorder affects jaw mobility and causes problems with chewing, chronic jaw pain or locking.
What are ways to stop grinding your teeth?
If you have symptoms of teeth grinding, it's best to make an appointment with us instead of waiting for your regular check-up. We'll examine your teeth, mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism and discuss treatment options. We can also recommend ways to repair existing damage.
Teeth grinding is often caused by anxiety, so it's important to try and reduce stress and improve your sleep quality. Naturally, completely eliminating stress from your life may be impossible, but relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation can go a long way towards improving teeth grinding.
Muscle exercises can be very helpful. By training your jaw and tongue to relax, you may be able to reduce your grinding or clenching. Massage your face, head and neck also helps to relax the muscles.
Bruxism Professional Mouthguard
In some cases, a professional bruxism mouthguard called an occlusal splint is recommended. The removable bit guard is usually worn at night and is custom- made to fit the upper and lower arches of your mouth to prevent your teeth from grinding against each other.
Medication and Strategies for Symptom Relief
Medications can also help reduce bruxism in some people, mostly by relaxing the muscles. These treatments are recommended as a short term solution because most have side effects that prevent long term use. Another commonly used strategy for symptom relief is applying hot and cold compresses to your jaw.
If you're suffering from symptoms of bruxism and you suspect you're grinding your teeth involuntarily; book an appointment with us through the contact form or call us at 1300 A SLEEP.