Bruxism is the clinical name for clenching your teeth together. It also encompasses grinding your top and bottom teeth together or sliding the teeth back and forth repeatedly. This behavior can occur while individuals are awake or during their sleep. It may seem strange that people can clench their teeth and be unaware of it, however it is a common issue. One of the tell-tale signs to determine if you are a “grinder” is to see if your teeth seem unusually flat and worn as opposed to bumpy and rigid.
What causes bruxism?
There can be multiple contributing factors when it comes to the actual cause of this issue. For many people, daily stress may be the main trigger. It is possible for certain people to clench their teeth unknowingly and never be aware of any symptoms. Sleep-related bruxism is obviously more difficult to control.
Additional health concerns
Consistently clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth can lead to significant pain, often caused by muscle fatigue. Your nocturnal habits can drastically influence your overall health depending on how powerfully you grind your teeth, how long you grind for each time, what your stress levels are like, your posture, how well you are capable of relaxing, and whether or not your teeth have become misaligned as a result. Some patients grind their teeth so noisily that they actually wake up their partners in bed. Just imagine how worn down your teeth can become without treatment. This can destroy the integrity of your teeth and lead to a host of health concerns down the road.
Repetitively clenching the teeth can put extreme pressure on the tissues, muscles and jaw structures within your mouth. This can particularly strain the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect your mandible, or lower jaw, to your skull. Over time, this can lead to multiple TMJ problems, which are collectively referred to as temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and the resulting pain can radiate throughout the head and lead to chronic headaches and migraines, jaw pain, chronic earaches, tinnitus, chronic neck pain and sleep apnea. It is important to be treated for TMD by a specially trained healthcare professional like Dr. Jared Ward at Fort Collins Headache Center. He can accurately diagnose the problem and treat any secondary symptoms you may be experiencing.
Treat your TMD and experience relief
Using the advanced technology of TruDenta, a cutting-edge diagnosis and treatment system that is proven to be effective at treating TMJ related conditions, Dr. Ward can offer you relief from your debilitating pain. Book a consultation exam with us today to see if you are a candidate for our breakthrough therapy. If you are, we will create a treatment plan for you that will have you symptom free with just 12 or fewer weekly visits. Call Fort Collins Headache Center today at 970-672-8517 or use the contact form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you.