If you wake up in the morning with an aching jaw, you could be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Known as bruxism, the unconscious habit of nighttime teeth-grinding may affect as many as one out of three adults and 15 percent of children. According to the American Sleep Association, bruxism affects males and females equally. The causes vary, but if left unchecked, bruxism can lead to a host of problems, including headaches, jaw disorders, and worn-down teeth. If you are suffering from jaw pain and looking for a dentist in Lanham MD, or the Prince George’s County area, please read on.
What Causes Bruxism?
The most common cause of teeth-grinding is stress. Certain medical disorders such as sleep apnea may also contribute to the problem. Persons who have a family history of bruxism seem to be at increased risk of developing nighttime teeth-grinding. Additionally, the risk increases for those who smoke tobacco or drink caffeinated beverages before going to bed. Misaligned teeth and other dental issues may also lead to teeth-grinding during slumber.
Symptoms of Bruxism
An aching jaw is not the only sign of bruxism. Persons who grind their teeth while they sleep may also experience unexplained dental pain, increased tooth sensitivity, worn enamel, cracked teeth, or earache pain that has nothing to do with an actual ear infection. Chronic tooth-grinding may even be loud enough to wake a sleep partner.
Can Bruxism be Cured?
Fortunately, the troubling condition of nighttime teeth-grinding can be effectively treated. Sometimes, all that’s required is a change in sleeping position. More often than not, however, persons who experience the symptoms of bruxism are most likely to find relief via their family dentist. A mouth guard may be recommended by your dentist or dental treatment may be advised.
If you or your child experiences morning jaw aches or other dental discomfort it is time to consult with a dentist. There’s no reason to suffer when comfortable treatment is readily available at Riverdale Park Dental. Dr. Tricia Boyce is a friendly dentist in Lanham MD with the skills and experience to treat chronic bruxism and other dental disorders.
When you’re ready to know more about bruxism, or if you’d like to make an appointment, please call (301) 927-2840 or click here to learn more about our practice.