Grinding or clenching your teeth can be associated with stress, anxiety, or a symptom of a sleep disorder. Loose, fractured and even loss of teeth are just a few of the harmful effects of grinding or clenching your teeth. Regardless of why we apply this intense pressure on our teeth, it is important to take steps to break this habit before it leads to long-term damage to your smile. Let’s explore a few common types of clenching and grinding and how to fix it.
Many people who grind or clench their teeth do it while asleep. Most don’t even realize they’re grinding in their sleep until they wake up with a dull headache or a sore jaw in the morning. If you share your bed with your partner, ask them to listen for grinding sounds coming from your direction the next time you go to sleep.
If you suffer from a sleep disorder consult with your doctor or specialist to help you get a better nights rest, and seek relief for your teeth from your dentist. Your dentist can create a bite guard that can be easily worn to comfortably over your teeth and protect them while you’re asleep.
The amount of stress and anxiety in our everyday lives is sometimes overwhelming. Many people unconscionably clench their jaws when they are they’re feeling anxious or stressed out. This can lead to disorders in the joint of your jaw bone called TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorders. These disorders can be painful if not treated.
Find out the best positive way that works for you to reduce your stress levels. For some that can be quietly reading a book, yoga, or meditation. It is always important to take a little time out of each day for yourself. In doing so, will help alleviate anxiety and stress, thus reducing instances of clenching.
Ear or Teething Pain in Children
Young children are also susceptible to the painful effects of clenching and grinding. This is often a result of an ear infection, or an unfortunate side-effect of the teething process. If you suspect your child has an ear pain problem, consult with your doctor on how to treat it. Other signs that it may be a teething issue are drooling, swollen gums or maybe even a rash on the chin.
To counter the effects of teething consult your child’s dentist. Massaging their gums with a clean damp wash cloth can provide temporary relief. Consult your family doctor, pharmacist, or dentist before administering any kind of pain relief medication.
If you’re experiencing any of these, or other symptoms of teeth grinding and/or clenching it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. The care providers at Tendercare Dental pay special attention to the needs of each patient, because a healthy smile is a happy smile!