Do you grind your teeth or clench your jaw?
Bruxism is the habit of grinding together the upper and lower jaw. Teeth grinding can damage the alignment and function of the delicate jaw joint known as the temporomandibular joint. The habitual motion of grinding the upper and lower jaw together puts added stress on the joint and can cause irreversible damage. Many patients who grind their teeth experience chronic pain symptoms.
Teeth grinding can affect patients of all ages. Bruxism is common in young patients or may develop in the teens and early twenties. Some children will grow out of the habit, while others will carry it with them into adulthood. Many believe that teeth grinding is triggered by high stress. Your dentist may make personalized recommendations on how to make lifestyle changes to reduce stress.
Signs you may be grinding your teeth include:
- Headaches in the morning
- Jaw pain
- The tension in your shoulder, neck and upper back
- Popping or click in your jaw
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Ringing in your ears or earaches
The Biological Approach To Treating Bruxism
At Claremont Dental Institute our doctors take a holistic, biological approach to treating TMJ and bruxism. Biological dentistry looks at the whole chewing system, analyzing the alignment of teeth and the bite. We also consider the health of the gums and function of the jaw.
Most patients grind their teeth while they sleep making bruxism difficult to diagnose. Many patients go years without treatment and develop everyday discomfort in the face neck and shoulders. Patients find little relief from over the counter pain medication and symptoms are commonly misdiagnosed.
Based on the patient’s personal health, lifestyle, and personal beliefs, your dentist will build a tailored treatment plan to address the underlying cause of the jaw malfunction. Many patients with bruxism will benefit from an oral appliance. Oral appliance therapy is less invasive than surgery and is highly effective for preventing bruxism. The appliance is custom fabricated to fit comfortably in the mouth and is more secure and effective than over the counter bite and fit options.
The appliance gently shifts the jaw into proper alignment and holds the upper and lower jaw in place. The device prevents the jaws from grinding or clenching together while the patient sleeps. The surrounding muscles and tendons are able to rest and begin to heal easing the painful symptoms often associated with prolonged bruxism.
REQUEST A CONSULTATION
If you or someone you know grinds or clenches their jaw, contact Claremont Dental Institute to find relief. We welcome new patients from the greater Claremont area, including San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, La Verne, Rancho Cucamonga, and Upland California. To request your smile makeover consultation contact our office at (909) 277-6919 or request your consultation using our online form.