When patients come to me with jaw pain, I look for the most simple explanation first. Identifying the cause and addressing it is far easier than jumping right into cortisone shots, orthodontic treatments, or even surgeries. In many cases, you may be unknowingly causing your own discomfort as a result of bruxism. What’s bruxism? Let’s find out.
Bruxism is the clinical word for clenching and grinding the teeth. Not only can this cause jaw pain, but it can literally grind down the surface of your teeth. What’s concerning is that most people have no idea that they’re clenching or grinding because they do it as they sleep. So how exactly do you know if you’re suffering from nighttime bruxism? Here are some of the more common symptoms:
- Tired or sore jaw muscles
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Teeth that are inexplicably fractured, loosened, or flattened
- Neck, ear, or face pain
How I Can Help
Whatever the reason for your bruxism, I can help. A custom-made oral appliance can prevent you from clenching and grinding by creating a barrier between your upper and lower teeth and placing your jaw in the proper position. Because these appliances are customized, they are comfortable; better yet, they can save your teeth from damage and help you avoid the pain associated with bruxism.
When your body is in pain, it’s sending you a message. Instead of ignoring jaw pain or other symptoms of bruxism, let’s have a conversation about it. If you even suspect that you are doing something that is potentially harmful to your dental health, call my office to make an appointment; we can put an end to your bruxism before it causes irreparable damage to your teeth. I look forward to seeing your smile!