Do you grind or clench your teeth? Do your jaw muscles feel tired or do you have difficulty opening wide?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be clecnching or grinding your teeth, a condition known as Bruxism. In addition to causing headaches and pain in your jaw, bruxism can cause fractures and extreme wear to your teeth. Over time, untreated bruxism can also lead to temporomandibular joint disorder(TMJ/TMD).
Treatment will help you to sleep better at night and feel better during the day. Don’t let bruxism continue to damage your teeth or cause you pain. Protect your smile by calling our Riverside dental practice to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Appelbaum.
Did You Know…
that approximately 10% of the adult population clench or grind their teeth and young children grind their teeth more than adults. Usually, children out grow bruxism by adolescence. Feeling anxious or frustrated may contribute to clenching or grinding. Reducing stress can help to relax the jaw muscles and prevent clenching and/or grinding.
Frequently Asked Questions?
How do I know if I clench and grind my teeth?
Quite often, many people are not aware that they have the condition until someone else, like a spouse, informs them that they are grinding their teeth while they sleep. One of the signs of clenching or grinding is waking up with a headache or jaw discomfort. Some other signs of bruxism is popping and clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth, fatigue in the jaw when chewing, difficulty chewing, earaches, loose teeth, chipped teeth or teeth that appear worn down, and pain or swelling where the lower jaw meets your skull.
What should I do if I suspect I am clenching or grinding?
Call our Riverside office immediately if you suspect you are clenching or grinding or have discomfort in your jaw. Untreated TMJ/TMD can lead to further inflammation and deterioration of the joint and may even eventually require surgery.
What are the treatments for Bruxism and TMJ/TMD?
Once Dr. Appelbaum examines your TMJ and determined that you clench or grind, he will make a recommendation as to which treatment option is best for you.
One common and effective treatment for bruxism is the use of a night guard. While some night guards are available over the counter, your treatment will be more effective and more comfortable when a professional guard is customized for your mouth. As it’s name indicates, a night guard should be worn at night while sleeping. While a night guard is not a cure for bruxism or TMJ/TMD, it can prevent damage to the teeth and worsening of the condition. The spacing that the night guard creates also reduces pressure and tension in the jaw to provide relief from TMJ/TMD and prevent further inflammation.
Dr. Appelbaum can suggest exercises which can help to strengthen the jaw muscles. In some instances, he may refer you to a physical therapist or TMJ specialist.
In many instances our office will recommend a manganese supplement (Ligaplex II) to help prevent bruxism and to aid in the healing of the TMJ.