HEAD AND NECK PAIN RELIEF

Clenching and Grinding

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time, medically called bruxism. Occasional teeth grinding does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other complications can arise.

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs subconsciously during sleep. It may also be caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth, in fact up to 80% of people who grind are unaware of it. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw, are telltale symptoms of severe bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinder may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.

Bruxism sufferers may experience

  • Headaches
  • Tension in the temple region
  • Neck pain and tension
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Sore jaw muscles and tired muscles upon wakening
  • Toothache
  • Chipped or fractured teeth

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

The most immediate and cost effective way of stopping the damage and severity of grinding and clenching is through fitting you with a mouth guard (an occlusal splint) to protect your teeth during sleep.

If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, it may be wise to consult your doctor. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.



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