What do you think of when you think of teeth grinding? You may think of clenched teeth as a reaction to stress or anger, but grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, affects people more often than you may think. Believe it or not, it most often happens when you may not even notice it — while you sleep.
Signs of teeth grinding
Grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep can lead to a number of health concerns, including headaches, trouble sleeping, and tooth decay. At Perfect Smiles Dentistry, Kavitha Gowda, DDS, can help diagnose bruxism by looking at a number of oral signs and talking to you about any health concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing.
These signs and symptoms can include:
- Headaches, including those upon waking up or chronic
- Clenching teeth
- Flat, fractured, or chipped teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tooth pain or increased sensitivity
- Tight or tired jaw muscles
- Jaw pain or soreness
If you are or have been experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gowda to talk about bruxism. If you are grinding your teeth, she will be able to talk to you about solutions to stop bruxism and help alleviate your headaches.
What causes teeth grinding
If your headaches or other symptoms are signs of bruxism, there are a number of potential causes for your discomfort. Risk factors for bruxism include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Aggressive or hyperactive personality
- Young age
- Certain medications
- Caffeinated beverages
- Family history
- Health disorders
During your appointment, Dr. Gowda may ask you about your lifestyle so she can provide you with the best care possible. Once grinding your teeth has started to affect your oral and overall health, seek help as soon as possible.
Treatments for bruxism
There are treatments available to reduce or even stop your teeth grinding. Dr. Gowda discusses treatment with you in more depth based on your unique situation, but one of the most effective treatments for many of our clients is a mouthguard.
A mouthguard is a plastic device shaped and molded to fit snugly over your teeth. You wear this guard as you sleep, and it acts as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, helping to prevent clenching and grinding so you get better sleep, protect your teeth, and stop headaches.
Lifestyle changes for bruxism
In addition to a mouthguard, Dr. Gowda may talk to you about potential lifestyle changes that can help alleviate your symptoms even more. Many of our patients are able to break the habit of teeth grinding when they stop chewing on hard objects and gum, stay hydrated, decrease their stress levels, and get adequate sleep.
Get help if you grind your teeth
If you have been struggling with the signs and symptoms of bruxism, call our office today or book your appointment online. Our team at Perfect Smiles Dentistry in Everett, Washington, is here to help you live a comfortable, headache-free life with simple, effective solutions that are designed to meet your needs.