5 Things To Know About Bruxism and the Wonders of Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry could help bruxism.

Bruxism may be causing your discomfort.

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a sore jaw? Or maybe your teeth hurt? If so, you might be experiencing symptoms of bruxism. Unfortunately, this condition can wreak havoc on your tooth enamel and jaw. Without proper intervention, you could be facing a lifetime of tooth sensitivity, frequent headaches, chronic jaw pain, and more.

Thankfully, neuromuscular dentistry can help treat your bruxism and get you back on track to stress-free sleep. Learn how Berrien Dental can help!

What is bruxism?

Essentially, bruxism is when you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. It can happen in the daytime (awake bruxism) or occur during sleep (sleep bruxism). The latter is classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. If you’re a nighttime teeth grinder, you might also find yourself battling other sleep issues like snoring or sleep apnea. But this condition doesn’t play favorites—it can strike anyone, regardless of age or lifestyle.

Several risk factors increase your odds of experiencing bruxism. Stress is a big one. So is age, as clenching and grinding are typical habits in young kids. If others in your family deal with this condition, you might be more susceptible too. And certain medications, excessive caffeine or alcohol intake, and medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and ADHD, can all play a role.

Here’s where things get interesting: Traditional dentistry focuses mainly on the health of the teeth, jawbone, and gums. But neuromuscular dentistry considers muscles, nerves, and soft tissues as well. By examining this wider range of factors, neuromuscular dentistry can offer tailored treatments for bruxism, targeting the underlying cause of jaw dysfunction. So if you’re tired of waking up with a sore jaw or sensitive teeth, Berrien Dental and neuromuscular dentistry might just be the dream team you’ve been looking for!

Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism

Here are 5 telltale signs that you are battling bruxism:

  1. Enamel wear: You may notice enamel wear, particularly on the back teeth. Over time, the constant grinding and clenching leads to flattened cusps or unevenly worn areas.
  2. Chipped or cracked teeth: Excessive pressure from grinding weakens the enamel over time, which often causes chips and fractures.
  3. Facial pain: Persistent jaw or temple pain can indicate that your muscles work overtime due to clenching or grinding.
  4. Hypersensitive teeth: Do you wince at the thought of biting into something cold or hot? Your enamel may be worn to the point that the sensitive dentin beneath is exposed.
  5. Tense jaw muscles: Feeling like you’re constantly flexing your facial muscles, even when you’re supposed to be relaxed? This condition can cause jaw tightness.

Untreated bruxism can have serious consequences beyond just a sore jaw in the morning:

  • Headaches: Facial muscle strain and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) tension can trigger frequent headaches.
  • TMJ issues: Popping, clicking, or locking of the jaw are common symptoms of TMJ disorders and are often associated with bruxism.
  • Oral tissue damage: Aside from wear facets on the teeth, grinding and clenching can result in tongue indentations and cheek damage.

Without intervention, this condition can lead to irreversible damage, affecting not only your oral health but also your overall well-being. Don’t let these symptoms go untreated—seek help from Berrien Dental to break the habit of grinding for good.

The Wonders of Neuromuscular Dentistry for Bruxism

Neuromuscular dentistry takes a comprehensive approach to treating bruxism, addressing not just the symptoms but the underlying cause. Your team at Berrien Dental can pinpoint the root of your jaw pain through advanced techniques and technologies such as sonography, electromyography, and jaw tracking. Additionally, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) offers a noninvasive way to alleviate muscle spasms and discomfort.

Through targeted therapy, the jaw muscles can relax, reducing pain and preventing further damage to teeth and oral tissues. Ultimately, this comprehensive approach promotes long-term oral health and restores comfort to those suffering from bruxism-related issues. 

Don’t suffer from bruxism symptoms any longer.

Why suffer from the pain and discomfort of bruxism any longer than necessary? The truth is that this condition can damage your teeth, but with neuromuscular dentistry, we can stop it in its tracks. Request an appointment with your dentist in Berrien Springs or St. Joseph to discuss your clenching and grinding, and let’s work together to put a treatment plan in place. We look forward to helping you find a solution.

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