Bruxism Therapy for Dallas, TX
You wake up in the morning, and the first thing you feel is a headache. By now, this has become pretty normal, but it’s still unpleasant. You get ready for the day, and as you’re brushing your teeth, something jumps out at you: your teeth look short and ground down. You have noticed this before, but you know it couldn’t have just happened. Could this be related to your headaches? You’re obviously grinding your teeth while you sleep, but what can you do about it? These are problems your dentist in Dallas, Dr. Drew Vanderbrook, has seen many times before, and he can answer your questions, as well as get you the treatment that you need.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition that almost 1 in 3 people experience in the U.S. Often, it is done unconsciously, and most people do it in their sleep. Over time, this can severely wear down your teeth, leading them to crack, break, and even fall out. Bruxism can be very hard to treat on your own because the causes can be mental as well as physical. Some common ones are:
- Stress, anxiety, or anger
- Abnormal alignment of the jaw
- Injury to the jaw
- Acid reflux
- Sleep apnea
- Side effects from medications
- Complications from other medical conditions like Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease
Personality type also plays a large roll in bruxism. People who are overly competitive, aggressive, or stressed will often clench their jaw and grind their teeth without being aware they are doing it.
Besides damaging the teeth, it can also lead to chronic headaches, ear aches, and facial pain. This is because bruxism is very taxing on your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which are the jaw joints located in front of your ears. Bruxism may be difficult to control, but there are a multitude of viable methods to treat it.
How We Can Treat Bruxism in Dallas
If you believe you are experiencing bruxism, the first step to getting treatment is to visit Vanderbrook Family Dentistry so Dr. Vanderbrook can examine you. He’ll do this to determine the cause of your bruxism so he can treat the direct source of your problem.
If your bruxism is stemming from stress, Dr. Vanderbrook may prescribe you a number of exercises and stretches to help you relax the muscles in your face and jaw. He can also show you a number of stress and anxiety management techniques to help minimize common mental triggers.
To help with your teeth-grinding at night, he can fit you for a customized nightguard. A nightguard is a small mouthpiece that you would wear each night to bed that would provide a physical barrier between your teeth to prevent you from grinding them. If your bruxism is related to TMJ issues, this device can also help put your jaw into a more natural alignment to prevent the unconscious clenching. Each nightguard is made to fit a patient’s particular teeth, meaning that they are not only effective, but also very comfortable to wear.
Have Any Questions?
While it may be easy to see and feel the effects of bruxism, it can be very difficult to diagnose on your own. If you’re suffering from frequent headaches, a sore jaw, or your teeth look worn down, make an appointment with our office as soon as you can. That will allow Dr. Vanderbrook to figure out your problem and quickly get to work finding you the relief you need.
If you have any other questions about bruxism’s symptoms and causes, or want to know more about your treatment options, just give us a call today.