Bruxism is caused when you clench or grind your teeth together and is generally a nocturnal habit, so many people are unaware they have this condition. Often, it’s not diagnosed until it begins to cause unpleasant symptoms. When you clench and grind your teeth, it creates enormous pressure on your jaw joints, which are called your temporomandibular joints. This can lead to a problem called temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and which affects the muscles responsible for moving your lower jaw. These muscles can become sore and inflamed and the pain can radiate outwards, potentially causing chronic headaches. If you frequently wake up with a headache and have perhaps noticed other symptoms such as jaw tenderness or that your teeth feel more sensitive than before, it’s worth getting a check-up here at Woombye Dental.
Diagnosing and Treating Bruxism and TMD
Our dentists can gently examine your teeth and jaws and we may take dental x-rays to closely examine your jaw joints. Quite often, it’s possible to treat bruxism with a custom-made night guard. This is generally made from a hard, thermoplastic material and fits over your upper teeth. It will prevent your teeth from coming into contact, as instead your lower teeth will glide harmlessly against the night guard. Helping your jaws to relax during sleep can be enough to break this habit and to relieve your headaches.