Has it been months since you last remember waking up feeling rested? At work, do you suffer from frequent headaches, problems concentrating, and even irritability? Did you know that these symptoms could all be related to a dental problem, called bruxism? Bruxism is a term that refers to subconscious teeth grinding, which many patients do unknowingly as they sleep. Some people may also grind their teeth during the day, without realizing it. This can lead to problems for both the teeth, and one’s sleep. Fortunately, many dentists offer an effective form of bruxism treatment, which can help protect the teeth and improve a person’s ability to sleep.

Do You Wake Up with Headaches or Other Pains? Are Your Teeth Visibly Worn and Overly Sensitive?

There are several warning signs that you could be suffering from bruxism. Again, since this condition is characterized by subconscious teeth grinding, it is important to consider the many signals your smile could be using to indicate that bruxism has become a problem.

  • For instance, sufferers of bruxism frequently struggle with teeth that appear flattened from the excessive wear, or they may even become chipped, fractured or loose from the damage.
  • Face or jaw pain is also common, including pains that could at first feel like an earache, or a dull headache, particularly if it seems to originate from the temples, or begins when you wake, each morning.
  • There might also be an overall tightness throughout your jaw muscles, or fatigue with those muscles. You might also notice sores or damage on the insides of your cheek, from chewing, or see damage to the tongue, for the same reason.
  • In some instances, patients may even have been awoken by the sound of their own teeth grinding, or they might have caused a partner to awake during the night due to the sound of the teeth grinding.

How Does Treatment Work?

A general dentist can often help treat bruxism by supplying the patient with a customized mouthgauard, which can help keep the teeth and jaw in a comfortable position during sleep, helping to preventing against further grinding of the teeth at night.

In some cases, though, orthodontic treatment might be advisable, particularly if alignment issues could be the underlying cause of the bruxism.