Do you wake up with dull headaches or a sore, stiff jaw? You could be suffering from Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding. Once you are told or realize that you are suffering from bruxism, it is important to seek help right away. Not giving it the proper attention will only result in damage to your teeth and lack of thorough sleep. You can go to your Sugar Land dentist to have your teeth and health analyzed.
The most common cause for teeth grinding are stress and anxiety, missing and crooked teeth, and an abnormal bite.
If your bruxism is stress-related, your dentist or physician may recommend professional counseling or other strategies to help you relax. Some other tips that are recommended from WebMD are:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee
- Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe./li>
If your bruxism is more advanced, your dentist may prescribe a medicine such as diazepam (Valium). This will be for short- term use, usually one week or so. It should be taken at night before you go to bed to help reduce grinding at night. You also may receive a prescription muscle relaxant to temporarily ease the spasm in your jaw. You may also be fitted for a custom-made bite plate.
If your bruxism is related to tooth problems, your dentist probably will correct tooth alignment. In severe cases, your dentist may need to use onlays or crowns to entirely reshape the biting surfaces of your teeth. The dentist also may make a mouth guard or bite splint that fits your mouth and teeth. This will help prevent further damage to the teeth. In some cases, it may help your teeth and muscles to realign.
If you need more information, contact your dentists in Sugar Land.