Do you wake up with a sore jaw? Do you sometimes experience a persistent headache with no discernable cause? If so, you may need to see a dentist. Bruxism affects millions of Americans, leading to uncomfortable symptoms and even endangering smiles. What causes bruxism? Understanding the factors behind your oral health concern can help you receive the treatment you need.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a disorder in which a patient regularly grinds his/her teeth or clenches his/her jaw. In many cases children and adults grind their teeth occasionally, but these episodes are not persistent. With teeth grinding, the issue happens daily, typically during sleep, damaging teeth and increasing the risk of other oral health problems.

Causes and Common Symptoms

What causes the disorder? In most cases an increase in daily anxiety can lead to bruxism. Other causes include tooth loss, misalignment, injury to the jaw or face, or TMJ disorder. Patients may notice soreness in the jaw or chronic headaches/earaches. As the regular grinding wears down the tooth enamel or chips/cracks appear then the patient may experience pain in the teeth or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

If you encounter one or more of these symptoms then please see a dental professional for a diagnosis. Without treatment, the damage to the teeth can increase the risk of tooth decay, infection, or in extreme cases, tooth loss.

How Do We Stop Grinding Our Teeth?

In some cases changes to your daily routine can ease symptoms. We suggest taking steps to reduce your day-to-day stress. The doctor can also recommend a nightguard. The oral appliance provides a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. Since the teeth don’t touch, you can avoid damage due to grinding. If you have any questions about treating teeth grinding we urge you to contact our office.

ABOUT YOUR WACO, TX, DENTIST:

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Corbet Locke, DDS, contact our Waco, TX, dental office today by calling 254-776-4888. Our office welcomes patients in and around Waco, TX, including Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and the surrounding Central Texas communities.