What Is Bruxism?

Brunette woman sleeping & clenching her jaw to indicate teeth grinding or bruxism

Do you grind your teeth? If so, you may be suffering from bruxism. Springhurst Hills Dentistry in Louisville, KY, is dedicated to providing you with the best treatment for all dental issues. Here, we’ll talk about bruxism by explaining what are its symptoms, what causes it, and how it is treated.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is when you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth at night while you’re asleep or even during the day. Treatment depends on how severe and frequent the grinding is. For some, it’s light and infrequent enough that their bruxism doesn’t need to be treated. For others, the grinding can be so intense that if left untreated it could cause damaged teeth, jaw disorders, and even more severe oral health problems.

What Are the Signs of Bruxism?

There are a number of warning signs for bruxism. The more you have, the more likely it is that you suffer from it. One obvious sign is if your partner or loved one is often woken up by the sound of your teeth grinding and clenching. Here are some other signs:

  • Worn tooth enamel that exposes the under layers of your teeth
  • Jaw, neck, and face pain or soreness
  • Tooth sensitivity or pain
  • Teeth that are flattened or chipped
  • Tight or locked jaw muscles
  • Sleep disruption
  • Pain that feels like an earache but isn’t
  • A dull headache at the temples in the morning

What Causes Bruxism?

It is hard to know for certain what causes bruxism and the cause can be very specific to the individual. For example, some experts believe that bruxism may be caused by emotional issues like anxiety, frustration, tension, anger, or stress. Others think it may be the result of a dental issue called malocclusion, when the teeth and jaw don’t line up. Additional potential causes include a complication from Huntington’s or Parkinson’s, a side effect of depression medications like Zoloft or Prozac, or the symptom of a rare condition that affects the nerves and muscles in the face.

How Can Bruxism Be Treated?

At Springhurst Hills Dentistry, we are proud to offer our patients treatment for bruxism in the form of a nightguard. This is an appliance that is worn at night to prevent your top and bottom teeth from touching each other in order to protect your teeth from any wear and tear caused by grinding. We can create a custom fitted nightguard for you that will fit your teeth perfectly. Our nightguards are made of heat-cured resin to create a hard plastic nightguard, heat-contoured laminate to create a soft plastic nightuard, or a combination of both materials that creates a dual-laminate nightguard that is hard on the outside but has a soft cushion of laminate on the inside.

If you think you’re suffering from bruxism, give our Louisville office a call to schedule an appointment and Dr. Tran will examine your teeth and determine whether you need a nightguard, and if so, what kind.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Lan Tran, Springhurst Hills Dentistry

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Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd, Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 365-9699

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