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If you grind your teeth during the day, you might be able to catch yourself grinding and loosen your jaw. Unfortunately, there's no way to stop yourself from grinding your teeth while you're asleep. Bruxism (or teeth grinding) can result in jaw pain, tooth damage and teeth sensitivity, making it hard to go about your daily life. To make matters worse, bruxism can be hard to diagnose because your dentist isn't studying your sleep cycles.
If you suspect that you're suffering from bruxism, make an appointment with us to talk about your symptoms. We might be able to treat your condition so you can sleep through the night without damaging your teeth.
Have you noticed yourself grinding your teeth whenever you're stressed or angry? When you're dealing with a lot of stress, you might grind your teeth unconsciously while you're asleep. You could also develop bruxism if you smoke, abuse substances or take certain medications. Some patients have a family history of bruxism that makes them more susceptible to the condition. Physical and mental conditions like ADHD, sleep apnea, seizures and Parkinson's disease can also lead patients to developing bruxism.
You might suffer from bruxism if you experience any of the following symptoms:
These symptoms don't automatically indicate that you have bruxism, but your dentist could weed out other options before they make a diagnosis. Note that bruxism isn't an "adult" condition--if you have children, they're even more susceptible to bruxism. Take note if they report any of these symptoms.
For most people, bruxism doesn't occur every night. You might notice that your symptoms start to improve, then suddenly resurface again. Bruxism also doesn't occur throughout your entire sleep cycle--instead, it comes and goes in episodes. Typically, you'll experience bruxism during the first two stages of sleep.
While there's no way for you to know when you grind your teeth at night, you could take part in an overnight sleep study in a sleep clinic. This allows professionals to observe your behavior and see if you're suffering from bruxism. You might also learn other facts about your sleeping habits.
Sometimes, bruxism requires medical intervention. Other times, you can treat bruxism by making lifestyle changes. Here's how we might recommend treating bruxism in our clinic.
Living a high-stress lifestyle could cause you to grind your teeth at night. Changing your entire lifestyle isn't always possible, but you could take steps to reduce the stress in your life. For example, you could try meditating at the end of the night, taking yoga classes or getting some exercise before you go to work. You could also ask the people in your life to help you out so you can get some time for yourself. If you're experiencing high levels of stress, you might be simply taking on too many responsibilities.
Your dentist might suggest getting Botox or another treatment to relax your jaw muscles. This may eliminate jaw pain and headaches during the day and reduce the risk of grinding at night. Muscle relaxants could also prevent further tooth damage and injuries inside your mouth.
Your dentist could prescribe a mouth guard that prevents tooth and tissue damage. While you could buy a generic mouth guard, a dental clinic can make a custom mouth guard that fits snugly over your teeth. You'll place the mouth guard in your mouth before you go to sleep. If you have an episode during the night, the mouth guard keeps the grinding from damaging your teeth.
Whether you're looking for a regular cleaning or need treatment for a specific issue, Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale offers appointments for new and returning patients. We'll evaluate your situation if you suspect that you're suffering from bruxism and figure out how to proceed. If our professionals give you a different diagnosis, you'll receive the same high quality of care that we show every patient.
To get started, call our office or hit the "Request an Appointment" button on the top and bottom of this page. It takes only a minute to fill out the form. Once we see your message, we'll get back to you to schedule an appointment at our office.