Bruxism, the clenching of upper and lower teeth together, and grinding – the side-to-side motion of teeth, often occurs when a person is under undo stress or tension. “However, not everyone who grinds or clenches is even aware they are doing this as many times it occurs during sleep,” says Dr. Judith Ko of Hemet Valley Dental Care in California, your Inland Empire’s Top Dentist.
While the causes will vary from person to person, the end results are you will be putting additional pressure on the muscles, teeth and other tissues of the mouth and face, which can result in teeth wear, broken teeth and face or jaw pain.
“You may be bruxing and grinding at night if you wake with a dull, deep headache,” adds Dr. Ko.
So what can you do?
Most recommend the reduction of stress – you may be able to do this by just learning relaxation techniques.
Get plenty of sleep – sleep loss is one factor that seems to increase the likelihood that a person will grind or brux their teeth.
Avoid eating hard foods such as nuts, candies, steak and stop chewing gum – all of which can exacerbate a sore jaw joint.
If you are having facial or jaw pain, apply ice to the muscles.
“And get in to see your dentist to determine if you are going to be best helped by wearing a night guard or splint,” says Dr. Ko.
Don’t let headaches prevent you from enjoying life, call today.