Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a prevalent issue primarily occurring during sleep. It often goes unnoticed until it manifests as noticeable jaw or tooth discomfort or until a sleeping partner becomes aware of the audible grinding sounds. The intensity of bruxism can vary, ranging from subtle and quiet movements to disruptive and loud episodes that can abruptly awaken the individual or their sleeping partner. Frequently associated with conditions such as sleep apnea and anxiety, it is advisable for those experiencing either to consult a dentist promptly to identify potential signs before complications arise. Caring 4 Smiles is well-versed in recognizing the diverse symptoms of bruxism, ensuring comprehensive care for individuals facing this common concern.
Identifying Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
While the apparent signs of nighttime teeth grinding, such as flattened teeth, worn enamel, and tooth/jaw pain, are easily identifiable, there are other less obvious symptoms to be mindful of. Unexplained neck or face pain and an unusual earache can indicate an underlying upper jaw issue deep within the bone. Additionally, persistent dull headaches originating in the temples may signal ongoing pressure on the upper jaw due to frequent grinding of nocturnal teeth. If you wake up with an unusual rawness inside your teeth, it may result from grinding that traps thin layers of the cheek between your teeth. Recognizing these subtle symptoms should prompt you to schedule a consultation with our Auckland dental clinic sooner rather than later, preventing irreversible damage to your oral health.
Stop the Grinding!
Rather than solely relying on dental professionals for corrective measures, taking proactive steps on your own can be beneficial in addressing bruxism. Given the correlation between bruxism and anxiety, exploring various stress and anxiety management techniques can be an initial approach. Seeking the guidance of a licensed therapist or counsellor not only addresses teeth grinding but may also yield broader benefits for your overall well-being. Additionally, consider consulting with a dentist or orthodontist to learn about proper mouth and jaw positions before bedtime, potentially training your body to reduce teeth grinding during sleep. While certain medications, such as muscle relaxants and anxiety/stress medications, can help alleviate grinding issues, it is crucial to discuss these options with your primary healthcare provider before considering any medication route.
Come to the Pros
There are various dental strategies available to address and prevent nighttime teeth grinding. Our team at Caring 4 Smiles can assist you in finding a suitable management protocol from a simple mouthguard designed to alleviate bruxism-related issues. These guards, crafted from hard or soft materials, resemble sports mouthguards but are intended for prolonged use. In addition to offering mouthguards, our experienced professionals can provide dental corrections when necessary. In severe cases where bruxism has gone unchecked for an extended period, dental surgery may be required to repair damaged teeth or crowns. Following any necessary treatments, we’ll guide you through preventive and restorative measures to ensure a lasting, flawless smile and optimal dental health!
If you’re experiencing aches and pains associated with nighttime teeth grinding, don’t hesitate to call us at 09-631-5416. Alternatively, take a virtual tour of our clinic with our online 360-degree feature. That option is also available for those who prefer to book their first visit online.
We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to assist you with your bruxism concerns, helping you reclaim a pain-free, enjoyable life!