Teeth grinding can damage the function of your jaw and health of your teeth and gums. Often ignored, bruxism is a complex dental issue that should be addressed to prevent further or permanent damage to your chewing system.
While there is no singular cause for bruxism it is often believed to be triggered by stress, bite interferences or neuromuscular issues. Dr. Heather Adams provides patients in Northwest Arkansas comprehensive dental treatment options for bruxism.
Headaches, TMJ, & The Long-Term Effects of Bruxism
If you wake up with headaches, or experience chronic facial or jaw pain, you may grind your teeth. Patients are often unaware of the habit whether it occurs during sleep or while awake. Teeth grinding or jaw clenching can damage your bite and cause secondary dental concerns that require advanced restorative treatment.
A patient who grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw often develops a bite disorder known as TMJ. TMJ affects the health and function of the temporomandibular joint or the jaw joint. This complex system of muscles and nerve endings can become overly stressed and compromised, resulting in long-term painful symptoms and difficulty chewing.
Dr. Adams offers treatment options for preventing teeth grinding and protecting your teeth and gums. Oral sleep appliance therapy is often highly effective for most patients who grind their teeth and have minimal TMJ dysfunction. A custom oral appliance that is similar to a sports mouthguard will be designed to comfortably fit your jaw. The device is worn while sleeping and prevents the upper and lower jaw from grinding together. The jaw is able to rest comfortably and in good alignment allowing the muscles to relax and soft tissues to heal.
Patients who grind their teeth and wear an oral sleep appliance often enjoy nearly overnight relief from painful symptoms such as headaches and jaw pain. For some patients, a combination of restorative procedures and an oral sleep appliance will be necessary to fully restore their dental health. Dental crowns, veneers or dental bonding can repair excessively worn or chipped teeth caused by bruxism. The oral appliance helps to prevent future damage, so you may enjoy lasting oral health.