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What is Bruxism?

Do you wake up first thing in the morning with a sore mouth and jaw or a headache? Do you find it increasingly difficult to do simple things like biting, chewing, or simply opening your mouth? If you have said yes, you may be living with a condition known as bruxism, and Noreen Goldwire, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry can help.

What Exactly is Bruxism?

When you have bruxism, you grind or clench your teeth. Grinding and clenching put excessive pressure on your teeth, your jawbone, and your temporomandibular joints. Bruxism is most common at night when you have no control over the muscle contraction in your body, including in your face and jaw. As a result, you may wake up in the morning with significant pain in your face and jaw. Over time, bruxism will damage your teeth. Simple tasks, such as biting, chewing, speaking, or even just opening your mouth, may be difficult, if not impossible. When you have bruxism, your entire quality of life may be affected.

Symptoms that Accompany Bruxism

Some symptoms that you experience may not even seem related, which can sometimes result in misdiagnosis. Common symptoms of bruxism include:
•  Severe pain in your jaw and temporomandibular joints.
•  Severe facial pain.
•  Tired facial muscles.
•  Difficulty biting, chewing, speaking, or even opening your mouth.
•  Excessive tooth wear. When your enamel wears down, your teeth begin to appear shorter and darker., You will have an increased risk of fracturing your teeth, crowns or fillings.f
•  Your gums may begin to recede.
•  Your teeth may become loose.
•  Chronic headaches or earaches. These are often caused by the radiation of pain from your temporomandibular joints to your head or your eardrums.

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism can be caused by any one of several different issues. These causes include:
•  Stress. Stress is one of the most common causes of bruxism. When you are stressed, your muscles tense. This includes the muscles in your face and jaw. When you are awake, you can take action to stop the contractions. When you sleep, however, you do not have this same control.
•  Excessive alcohol consumption.
•  Certain types of drugs, both prescription and non-prescription.
•  Caffeine.
•  Misalignment of your teeth or your jaws.

How is Bruxism Treated?

There are a few different types of treatments available for bruxism. The exact treatment you receive will depend upon the cause of your bruxism and its severity:
•  Stress relief techniques. If you suffer from stress, you can try things such as breathing techniques, meditation, or yoga. ...
•  Nightguards. A nightguard is an oral appliance worn over your teeth while you sleep, which works to absorb the impact of the pressure forced on your teeth and jaw.
•  Botox. Botox weakens the muscles in the mouth, preventing them from grinding and clenching.
•  Orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can correct alignment issues and may alleviate symptoms and preventing bruxism.

Treating bruxism is essential for restoring your oral health and your quality of life. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Noreen Goldwire, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today at (425) 485-4010.
Noreen Goldwire DDS | www.goldwiredental.com | (425) 485-4010
22232 17th Ave SE, Suite 208 Bothell, WA 98021
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