Bruxism is the medical name for jaw clenching and/or teeth grinding. Often unconscious, bruxism may be the result of emotional stress, frustration, anger, fear, or anxiety. It may also be an automatic response while sleeping, stemming from emotional stress, or as a response to arousal during sleep cycles.
Even when it occurs during the day, bruxism is often an unconscious response. Unfortunately, while we’re busy not thinking about the fact that our jaws are clenched or teeth are grinding together, bruxism can be doing serious damage. This makes treating the issue all the more important.
What Does Bruxism do to Teeth?
Bruxism can have a profound impact on the health, strength, and appearance of your teeth. Depending on the amount of pressure exerted while clenching or grinding, bruxism may result in:
- Uneven tooth wear
- Tooth decay and infection
- Exposed tooth roots
- Chronic headaches
- General facial pain
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
These issues do not occur overnight due to bruxism, but they can result in tooth loss and other oral health issues as they progress. If you notice that you grind your teeth or struggle with frequent jaw clenching, we would be happy to discuss treatment options that can help prevent future damage and restore comfort to your smile.
Treatments for Bruxism
Stress reduction and management are often useful in the fight against bruxism. Various breathing techniques, yoga, walks, and self-care can all help reduce stress and, with it, issues like jaw clenching.
Lifestyle changes are probably the most effective long-term treatment plan, but others, such as an occlusal guard, may prove very useful for women and men who unconsciously grind or clench. These guards may also help to improve bite stability and provide lasting relief from facial pain.
The best way to learn if treatment, stress reduction, or a combination of the two will be necessary for the elimination of your bruxism, please call Oradell Family Dental at 201-384-9292 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Perlmutter. Located in Oradell, we welcome patients from all surrounding areas.