If you wake up most mornings with a sore jaw and teeth, the discomfort is most likely the result of grinding your teeth while you sleep, which is medically known as bruxism. The rhythmic jaw clenching and teeth grinding that defines bruxism usually happens while you’re sleeping and unconscious, and if left ignored, it can cause serious damage to your teeth. Fortunately, treatment is available for bruxism, which is more common than you might think. In fact, many celebrities have been open with their struggles with teeth grinding and how they’ve coped.
Here’s everything you need to know about bruxism and how three celebrities treated their condition:
Symptoms of teeth grinding
Clenching teeth all night long does more than leave you with a sore jaw when you wake up. Other symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, stiffness in the shoulders and neck, ear pain, inner cheek damage, and swollen facial muscles. Though pain and discomfort are unpleasant enough, but one of the worst side effects of bruxism is the abnormal wear and tear on your teeth, which can lead to fractures and tooth loss.
Causes of teeth grinding
Researchers don’t know exactly what causes bruxism, although it’s commonly thought that stress and anxiety can lead to nighttime teeth grinding. Other possible culprits include crooked or missing teeth, abnormal bite patterns, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Some research also suggests that bruxism could be related to genetics, as it’s more likely for someone to develop bruxism if a parent suffers from it as well.
How to stop grinding teeth
Because the causes of bruxism vary among patients, treatment options will vary as well. Addressing sleep disorders or underlying anxiety could have a positive effect, but for most patients, confronting the bruxism directly is the best course of action, whether through a customized mouth guard for teeth grinding, or dental adjustments to fix an abnormal bite.
Celebrity’s choice: Mouth Guards
Custom-made, individually fitted mouth guards might not cure bruxism, but they provide excellent protection against painful symptoms by cushioning the lower and upper teeth.
1. Chrissy Teigen
TV personality and Twitter star Chrissy Teigen has been vocal about the customized mouth guard she wears every night, even modeling the device on social media.
2. Tara Lipinski
Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski has noted in interviews that she wears her mouth guard regularly, even when traveling.
3. Vivica Fox
Movie star Vivica Fox has also publicly discussed her night guard, adding that it offers double protection: for her teeth and her porcelain veneers, which are vulnerable to damage from grinding.
Bite adjustment for teeth grinding
In many cases, people suffering from bruxism only need a minor adjustment to their bite to prevent their teeth from grinding. An occlusal adjustment is a dental procedure that removes tiny obstructions in the teeth to allow them to close with a better fit. These obstructions, also called interferences, can develop as teeth grow, after an injury, over time with normal wear, or due to dental treatments including crowns, fillings, and bridges. Once they are identified, the interferences will be filed down and smoothed until the teeth fit together properly.
Teeth grinding treatment in San Diego, CA
If you’re tired of waking up every morning to jaw pain and discomfort, it’s time to address your chronic bruxism. Whether you need a mouth guard for teeth grinding or a bite adjustment, the specialists at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can help. After a positive diagnosis of bruxism, we will discuss all the options available and help you select the best treatment for your needs.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, fill out our contact form or give us a call at (619) 543-0905.