Bruxism: What It Is & How to Tell If You Have It

Self-ImprovementStress Management

  • Author Dr. Albert Kim
  • Published March 7, 2022
  • Word count 467

Do you clench your jaw when you’re stressed? Do you often wake up with a dull headache? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then you may have a condition called Bruxism. It’s quite common; according to the Academy of General Dentistry, about one in three people have it. Don’t worry – it’s easily treatable with a skilled dentist in your corner. To learn about the details of the condition, the symptoms to look out for, and more, read on!

6 Common Symptoms of Bruxism

In short, Bruxism is characterized by a chronic grinding, gnashing, or clenching of your teeth. Although it’s considered a sleep-related disorder, it is possible for you to unconsciously clench your teeth throughout the day as well. Therefore, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

• Flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth

• Increased tooth pain or sensitivity

• Tight or sore jaw muscles

• Neck or jaw pain

• Dull headaches

• Sleep disruption

How Is Bruxism Treated?

When you first experience one or more of the above symptoms, get in touch with your dentist to let them know. Once it comes time for your appointment, they can learn more about your concerns, take a look at your teeth, and determine if Bruxism is truly the root of the problem. If it is, they can provide you with a custom-made mouthguard or nightguard. Although relatively small, this appliance can effectively protect your teeth, preventing dull headaches and jaw pain in the process. Unlike over-the-counter options, the ones from your dentist are 100% personalized to you, ensuring they won’t be a choking hazard either. All you have to do is wear it according to your dentist’s instructions. Within a few days, you’ll notice a huge difference!

What Happens If You Don’t Seek Treatment?

In mild cases, Bruxism may not require treatment. For more moderate and severe cases, however, neglecting to seek treatment can have a profound negative effect on your oral health and overall well-being. To start, jaw disorders that stem from untreated Bruxism can make chewing painful or extremely difficult, leading to nutritional deficiencies and indigestion. Secondly, the dull headaches and jaw pain can negatively impact your quality of life. Lastly, the wear and tear to your teeth can make smiling confidently and chewing properly near impossible, requiring potentially costly restorative and cosmetic care. That’s why it’s best to seek treatment the moment the first symptoms arise.

Bruxism may be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s something to dismiss. To keep your teeth healthy and your bite strong, get in touch with a nearby dentist when you begin to experience dull headaches, sore jaw muscles, or any of the other common symptoms. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner your pain-free smile will be restored!

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