Attractive young couple sitting on stairs outdoorsBruxism is the constant, unconscious grinding of teeth. Patients who experience this often do it when they’re sleeping. If left untreated, it can harm teeth and the jaw. Common bruxism symptoms include headaches, a sore jaw, and earaches. It’s caused by a variety of issues, including anger, anxiety, diet, sleeping habits, stress, and other factors. To address bruxism, patients are often fitted for a mouthguard that they wear when they sleep.

Constant clenching and teeth grinding can cause not only the aforementioned symptoms, but it may also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently will result in surface wear over time, which may cause dental issues.

A thorough evaluation allows us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we’ll create an orthodontic appliance, also called a mouthguard or a nightguard to help prevent grinding and clenching. Many types of guards exist. If one appliance does not work, another may. In many cases, simply wearing a nightguard may eliminate the issue. However, if the condition persists, we can prescribe alternative corrective treatments.

Some practices that can relieve symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, we can provide appropriate treatments.

Schedule a Consultation With Us Today

If you’re suffering from constant teeth grinding, we can help. To schedule a consultation with us, call Sue Ellen Richardson, DDS, in Houston, TX, today at 713-796-9600. We also serve patients who live in Bellaire, River Oaks, Southside Place, and all surrounding communities.