Bruxism is more than just a useful word when playing Scrabble.™ It refers to grinding or clenching your teeth. It may be a reaction to stress, or it may be the result of your bite not being properly aligned which may cause your teeth to grind against one another. Or it may be something that you do while you are asleep. In some cases, medicine, alcohol, tobacco or caffeine may be culprits, or it may even be hereditary.
You may have noticed that your teeth have been worn down or flattened, or they are loose, or chipped. You may also have headaches, or unexplained pains in your neck or jaw. Your teeth may be sensitive and at risk for decay because of worn enamel. You dentist may be the first one to recognize the signs of bruxism or your spouse or partner may tell you that they can hear you grind your teeth at night.
In many cases, particularly in children, bruxism may go away in time. However, if it is a persistent problem for you, you should see your dentist. Your dentist may suggest that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep, or he may suggest stress-management techniques. The dentist will also want to check for damage to your enamel. If you have noticed the symptoms in your child, you should talk about it with your dentist at his or her next appointment.
If you, or your child are experiencing the symptoms of bruxism, you should get in touch with our dentist, Dr. Scott Lindsay. If you live in Centennial, Colorado, call 720-420-6226 to schedule an appointment at Peak Dental Care. We look forward to helping you restore your smile!