Teeth Clenching: What You Should Know

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Did you know that clenching your teeth, which is also known as bruxism, can occur while you’re sleeping or when you’re awake? Many people clench their teeth without realizing what they’re doing. This is especially problematic because you may clench your teeth while you’re sleeping. 

If you have gum disease—whether you know you have bruxism or not—you can end up dealing with issues such as tooth decay, pain in your ear, and even tension headaches and migraines. Furthermore, if you have bruxism, you may chip, crack, or even fracture your teeth. Similarly, you may be damaging your enamel, which might make you more vulnerable to tooth decay.

Fortunately, even though you could be clenching your teeth unwillingly, there are a few symptoms you can watch for. For instance, as a result of teeth grinding, you could experience dull headaches, especially after you sleep. Your mouth and muscles may frequently feel sore. You may also experience pain in your ear, damage to the insides of your cheeks, and even indentations on your tongue.  

The good news is, there are a number of things you can do to address bruxism, depending on the source of your clenching. This may include reducing your stress levels, drinking more water, getting more sleep, and making a conscious effort to relax the facial muscles and jaw muscles throughout the day. Often, a custom night guard will help, and we are pleased to offer custom night guards for our patients experiencing bruxism.

If you’re interested in learning more about bruxism, please feel free to give Musso Family Dentistry at 972-840-8477. Drs. Mike and Mark Musso, along with Dr. Mark Waggoner are happy to answer any questions you may have!

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