Bruxism – The 411

  • Posted on: Jan 15 2016
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Stress is a part of life and can manifest itself in many ways. We look for ways to relieve our stress…by walking, meditating, practicing yoga or getting regular exercise. Many people don’t realize that daily stress can manifest in jaw clenching or unconscious teeth grinding. This is a common condition called bruxism which affects approximately 40 million children and adults.

BruxismSome experts believe that bruxism is nothing more than a bad habit. But it may be the result of your body’s reaction to your teeth not lining up or coming together properly. This is called your “bite.” When your teeth rub together, the outer layers of tooth enamel can wear away and teeth become sensitive. Severe bruxism can damage your teeth and even break dental fillings.

You may grind your teeth when you sleep. This is called nocturnal bruxism, and sometimes results in waking with a dull headache or facial or jaw pain (TMJ). You may grind and clench your teeth during the day…and you may not even be aware that you’re doing it.

Bruxism may be a side effect of some medicines that treat depression, such as Prozac or Paxil, or it may be a symptom of diseases of the facial nerves and muscles.

Some of the symptoms of bruxism are headache, facial pain, clicking or popping in your jaw, tight or painful jaw muscles and broken fillings.
• Bruxism symptoms may be alleviated by limiting your intake of caffeine
• If you think your or a family member’s bruxism is stress-related, try to research strategies that will help you relax.

If you think you suffer from bruxism, call our office for a consultation with Dr. Wylie. There are several treatment modalities available. At your consultation, Dr. Wylie will discuss your medications, your sleep habits, the possible sources of your stress and your general health. He will also examine your bite and look for tenderness in your jaw and facial muscles. Call today: (304) 845-2480.

Posted in: Bruxism

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