Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What is Bruxism?

Many people are not aware that they have a condition called Bruxism. But, if you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw or a headache, you may be grinding your teeth at night and that is bruxism.

This can be caused by short-term stress but it can also be part of a chronic, bigger picture issue such as TMJ. In high stress situation, we tend to bear down and grind our teeth. Most people do not realize when they do this during the day and they certainly don’t realize it when they are sleeping. The tension in the muscles from the grinding is what causes inflammation and pain.

If your bruxism is due to stress, stress relief techniques ranging from exercise to counseling to muscle relaxants might be the answer. But in the case of chronic bruxism, treatment for TMJ may be the relief you need. Treatments can range from custom fit nightguards to full treatment for TMJ is the bruxism is a symptom of the TMJ. It is important to treat bruxism to avoid putting undue stress on the teeth, which can lead to receding gums or damage to the tooth.

If you are grinding your teeth at night, causing stiffness in your neck and jaw or headaches, please contact me today about treatment for your bruxism.