What is Bruxism?

Do you suffer from migraine headaches?

When you wake up, do you feel fabulous? (or is a sore, stiff jaw and sensitive teeth keeping you from feeling great?) Bruxism is a term that refers to teeth clenching or grinding.  This can occur both during daytime as well as during sleep, and most people are not aware that they do it.  More than half of all adults have this condition.  Symptoms include jaw pain, headaches (especially in the morning), tension of the facial muscles, sensitive teeth, worn teeth and front teeth getting shorter over time, as well as chipped or cracked teeth.  Stress can contribute to bruxism and some triggers, like caffeine, may make it worse in some people.  It has also been shown to occur more frequently in women than men and this condition has been found to be hereditary.

So, what can you do about it?  What if you think you might be grinding your teeth?  The first step is to talk to your dentist about your concerns.  Often, there are very characteristics signs that he or she will be able to see when your exam is completed.  They will also discuss your symptoms, and in order to protect your teeth and prevent chronic headaches, muscle tension, and jaw problems, a small device can be specially made for you to wear to prevent teeth grinding.  An NTI is the smallest “bite guard” that fits over a few of your front teeth that will prevent your teeth from being able to touch.  This forces the jaw to relax and alleviates the problems associated with bruxism.  You will probably find that you get better sleep with a bite guard or NTI in place because your facial muscles are relaxed!

Clinical trials found that after wearing an NTI every night, 82% of migraine sufferers had, on average, a 77% reduction in migraine attacks over 8 weeks and were continuing to improve.  There are absolutely NO side effects or adverse reactions (www.nti-tss.com), unlike with medications for similar conditions. What if you choose not to do anything… Bruxism can lead to some serious complications over time.  These include frequent, chronic headaches and facial pain.  Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) may also develop as a result of teeth clenching and grinding.  Molar teeth can be worn smooth and front teeth can become shorter as a result.  This can make for a less youthful appearance.  With more severe clenching and grinding, tooth fracture can result as well as damage to existing dental work (broken fillings, crowns, etc.)  Be sure and talk to your dentist as you continue your regular visits to find out if you’re at risk or could benefit from an NTI appliance. Your Las Cruces Dental Solutions Team 575-524-7645 Source: Mayo Clinic – Bruxism

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