Grinding or clenching your teeth can be caused by an uneven bite or other malocclusions, but increased stress levels can contribute to this behavior. With the ongoing global pandemic, many individuals are experiencing more stress and therefore exacerbated teeth grinding.
This habit, known as bruxism, can hurt your teeth and jaw over time. Dr. Josh Heinsheimer, a dentist in Leland, NC, describes how TMJ treatment can help you fight the painful symptoms of teeth grinding.
How Can I Tell If I Grind My Teeth?
Some patients realize they clench or grind their teeth during the day, but many cases of bruxism occur while a patient is asleep and unable to notice this behavior. Partners of patients may report teeth grinding during the night, but individuals can recognize other symptoms of this condition.
Headaches, sore teeth, or jaw pain, especially in the mornings, could stem from bruxism occurring at night. Prolonged teeth grinding and clenching can also lead to difficulty chewing or popping sensations in the jaw.
What Happens If I Do Not Treat Teeth Grinding?
Untreated bruxism means that these uncomfortable symptoms can continue. The prolonged pressure on your jaw can injure your temporomandibular joint and leave you with TMJ disorders.
The grating of top teeth against the bottom teeth can also chip, crack, or fracture your teeth, leading you to require restorative dental work. To prevent dental damage and alleviate painful TMJ symptoms, you should ask your dentist about TMJ treatment options.
What Treatment Can I Expect?
If you suffer from TMJ disorders, your dentist can create a customized oral appliance for you to wear overnight that will protect your teeth and jaw from the risks of bruxism occurring as you sleep. This mouthguard-like device will alleviate pressure on your jaw and cushion teeth against grating.
The appliance will be constructed to fit the unique size and shape of your mouth so that you do not have to worry about slippage of the device during the night. An oral exam with your dentist can also determine if bruxism is linked to an underlying dental condition that can be treated.
TMJ Treatment Available in Leland, NC
Waterford Family and Cosmetic Dentistry treats TMJ disorders and other dental concerns in patients in Leland, NC. Dr. Heinsheimer specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 910.519.1624.