Teeth grinding: What to do?
Atlanta resources for teeth grinding
By Jae Curtis
Have you ever woken up with a sore, stiff jaw after a long night's sleep? You've probably experienced bruxism, the clinical name for teeth grinding. Grinding occurs for a number of reasons and since it happens when you're sleeping, you're usually unaware that you're even doing it. But better understanding the health issue and how it can affect your sleep and your dental health can help you get control of this strange and often frustrating oral issue.
Causes. When it comes to grinding your teeth, it can be the result of a number of different causes. One of the major culprits is anxiety or stress; you tend to tense your jaw in your sleep, which can result in grinding when you're up against a deadline or worried about something. Grinding can also occur when you feel particularly aggressive, suffer from sleeping issues, have dental problems or are taking certain medications. It's important to consider all possible causes with your dentist and doctor to isolate the issue.
Symptoms. If you're a grinder, you know the telltale tightness of the jaw in the morning after a session. You might also experience temporary lockjaw. You might also suffer from headaches in the a.m. and oral health issues like worn-down teeth, chips, increased teeth sensitivity, facial pain and even damage to your tongue or the insides of your cheek. When these symptoms are severe enough to disrupt your daily life, it's time to seek professional help.
Treatment and prevention. To truly treat teeth grinding, you'll need to treat the underlying issues. Medications and health issues should be evaluated by your doctor, particularly if a specific medication is causing the issue. If it's stress or aggression causing the problem, your doctor may be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help you relax at night. Your dentist can also outfit you with a mouth guard to wear at night; it won't stop the grinding action, but it will protect your teeth from adverse affects.
If you're looking for an Atlanta-based dentist to help with your grinding habits, check out Kudzu for help near you.
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