Did you ever think that stress could affect your teeth? Stress is one of the many causes of bruxism, the act of teeth grinding. This nighttime habit can actually be quite dangerous, with many damaging effects on your teeth and muscles. Your Livonia Family dentist, Dr. James Stewart answers some frequently asked questions about bruxism.
Why do I Grind my Teeth at Night?
Teeth grinding can occur for a number of reasons, including stress, an aggressive personality type, an abnormal bite, and missing teeth. Bruxism can also be a side effect of certain anti-depressants and a complication of Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Can Bruxism Damage my Jaw Muscles?
Yes, excessive teeth grinding can lead to a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This joint is located in front of the ears on both sides of the face and can be felt moving whenever you open and close your mouth. A TMJ disorder has many symptoms that can cause chronic pain and decreased oral functioning, including difficulty chewing, headaches, and ear pain.
Is Bruxism Treatable?
Oftentimes, bruxism is not severe enough to require treatment and can even go away on its own. However, there are treatment options. For instance, wearing a mouthguard at night can lessen the damage done to your teeth, and learning to manage your feelings of stress can help your jaw muscles to relax more when you sleep. If you have developed TMJ disorder, you can schedule a consultation with your Livonia family dentist so that he can find the treatment path that is right for you.
To reduce the harmful effects of bruxism, schedule an appointment with Dr. Stewart today. You can reach our dental office at (734) 425-4400. We take care of patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Garden City, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Westland, and the surrounding areas.