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Are you waking up with a sore jaw and aching teeth? If so, you could be grinding your teeth during the night. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is very common and affects nearly 30 to 40 million children and adults in the United States. Bruxism can develop at any age, so you mustn’t miss your regular visits with the team at Dobson Ranch Dental Care. The cause for your teeth grinding might be underlying, but the damage done to your jaw and teeth can be noticeable the next morning. Here’s what our dental experts want you to know about bruxism.

The Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

If you grind your teeth at night, it’s likely you don’t even realize it. The only signs that you have are a splitting headache the next morning. Some people also experience temporomandibular joint discomfort, facial myalgia, earaches, tightness and stiffness in the shoulders, and muscle aches around the face. However, the symptoms and signs don’t stop there. According to The Bruxism Association, teeth grinding can take its toll on the inside of your mouth. At your regular dental checkup, your dentist might notice things like abnormal tooth wear, fractures, inflammation, recession of the gums, or even tooth mobility. During your exam, it’s likely that your dentist will ask you about your sleeping habits and if you are aware that you grind your teeth at night.

The Causes of Bruxism

Since grinding your teeth is usually done while you sleep, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact causes in your waking state that can cause teeth grinding at night. According to The Bruxism Association, recent research has shown that sleep bruxism is usually at its peak right before REM sleep. However, there is some speculation among sleep researchers that sleeping disorders, stress, anxiety, and substantial intakes of alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco use can all lead to grinding your teeth at night. 

Solutions for Teeth Grinding

There’s no doubt that teeth grinding can have a significant impact on your day, your sleep, and even the physical structure of your teeth and jaws. If your dentist has diagnosed you with bruxism, there are several solutions and treatments, depending on the causes. For most, wearing a nightguard, or bite guard as it’s commonly referred to, can help protect your teeth from uneven wear and possible fractures. If stress and anxiety are to blame for your teeth grinding, your dentist might suggest behavioral therapies such as relaxation techniques, medications, or psychoanalysis to help manage your stress.

We Can Help Ease Your Teeth Grinding

If you suspect you’re grinding your teeth throughout the night, don’t put off your next dental exam. Waiting to make an appointment can put your teeth at serious risk for more damage. Instead, turn to the dental experts at Dobson Ranch in Mesa, AZ. We will help you develop a personalized treatment plan to help ease your bruxism. We can even treat TMJ, periodontal disease, and repair any damaged teeth. To schedule your appointment, contact us today at (480) 838-8558.