How To Relieve Bruxism Pain?
Bruxism, known as chronic teeth grinding, can cause painful symptoms in the teeth, jaws, and facial muscles. People living with bruxism know how much it impacts their quality of life.
Fortunately, treating bruxism pain is possible. This blog article will explain bruxism, share some home care techniques, and outline what a dentist can do to help.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is more than grinding teeth. It is a complex condition tied to genetic, psychological, and physical factors. The condition divides into two types: sleep bruxism and awake bruxism. Some patients have both types.
Bruxism may be difficult to distinguish from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome or other disorders that cause jaw and ear pain. For this reason, seeing a dentist or physician is a must when you experience symptoms of bruxism.
- Tenderness in the jaw muscles
- Dental problems like missing or broken teeth
- Damage to the inside of the cheeks from chewing or grinding
- Bone damage that your dentist can see on an X-ray
Physicians have not pinpointed an exact cause for this condition but have identified some contributing factors.
Awake bruxism may have a stronger connection to emotional symptoms like tension, stress, anxiety, and frustration. Some people use it as a coping strategy. Others may grind or clench their teeth as they concentrate.
Home Care Techniques
Most home care recommendations for bruxism focus on relaxing your jaw muscles during the day and avoiding triggers. Stay away from activities that aggravate the sore muscles in your jaws and face.
- Use hot compresses or ice packs to help with discomfort
- Avoid eating hard foods like popcorn, nuts, and hard candy
- Consider avoiding sticky foods that are hard to chew, like peanut butter and taffy
- Avoid chewing gum
- Use a pillow with good head and neck support
Other supportive techniques include:
- Warm baths at bedtime
- Jaw exercises to relax and stretch overworked muscles
- Behavioral health treatment for anxiety or depression
Even while practicing the above home care techniques, patients with bruxism pain should ask their dentist about receiving a mouthguard or oral splint to wear at night. The splint or mouthguard keeps the jaws slightly apart at night, encouraging them to relax and preventing tooth damage from grinding and clenching.
If your dentist believes your problem stems from a sleep disorder, you may benefit from a visit to a doctor specializing in sleep medicine. You may need a sleep study to determine if underlying conditions cause your problem.
Call Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry
You don't have to live with bruxism pain. If you regularly grind or clench your teeth, call Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry at 631-351-3444 . We can prescribe an oral splint to keep you from grinding your teeth at night and check for signs of tooth damage from excessive wear. We can also show you techniques to reduce muscle stress and tension.