While many people grind their teeth when they are stressed or upset during the day, others do it unknowingly as they sleep. Nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism) is just as dangerous as daytime teeth grinding and should be treated as soon as possible.
In this blog post, West Orange dentist and TMJ specialist Dr. Ivan Stein shares telltale signs that you’re grinding your teeth at night.
Worn or Cracked Teeth
Chronic bruxism puts a great deal of stress and pressure on your teeth. Over time, your teeth may chip, crack or become excessively worn down. Teeth grinding may also cause dental fillings to break down. This in turn puts your teeth at risk for an array of dental problems including infection and decay.
Individuals who grind their teeth at night often wake up with headaches in the morning. This is because the repeated pressure put on the mouth and jaw can travel all throughout the head and neck. If you can’t pinpoint another cause for your headaches, teeth grinding may be to blame.
Jaw Pain or Soreness
Jaw pain and soreness, especially in the morning, is one of the most obvious signs that you are grinding your teeth at night. The repeated stress caused by teeth grinding causes the muscles responsible for jaw movement to fatigue, making it painful to properly open and close the mouth. Individuals with chronic jaw pain may find it difficult to eat, chew and speak properly.
What To Do If You Grind Your Teeth
If you experience any of these symptoms, consult with a TMJ specialist, like Dr. Stein, who has years of experience diagnosing and treating the condition. For mild teeth grinding, Dr. Stein may recommend wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent you from clenching your teeth. For more severe teeth grinding and TMJ pain, he may recommend using a custom-fabricated dental appliance that helps you keep your jaw relaxed as you sleep, easing the tension and pressure on your TMJ. Because no two cases are alike, Dr. Stein uses the most up-to-date diagnostic technology and evaluation techniques to design individualized treatment plans for patients.
To learn more about teeth grinding, TMJ disorder and the treatment options Dr. Stein offers, schedule a consultation. Contact the Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey by calling (855) 865-3627 or emailing us today.