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(916) 683-1335
Laguna View Family Dental

Elk Grove, CA

Man with jaw pain in TMJ due to bruxism or teeth grinding Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is more common than you may think. According to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, roughly 30 to 40 million Americans suffer from the disorder. You, too, may have bruxism even if you are unaware you are doing it.

At Laguna View Family Dental, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of bruxism and other common oral health problems. If you exhibit the signs and symptoms of bruxism, we can help get your teeth and jaw back on track. It all begins with patient education!

Symptoms of Bruxism

You may be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw if you experience the following symptoms:
•  Grinding noises loud enough to awake a sleep partner
•  Rhythmic contractions of the muscles in your jaw
•  Dull headaches in the morning
•  Worn enamel, flattened teeth, chips or fractures
•  Tender, sore, or tight jaw muscles
•  Inexplicable pain in the face
•  Swelling near the jaw
•  Pain in the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint
•  Pain that resembles an earache
•  Sleep disruption

Diagnosis of Bruxism

Bruxism shares several symptoms with other conditions, including TMJ disorders. During your initial consultation, Dr. Leo Townsend will review your medical and dental history during a thorough examination. Your exam also includes a physical and visual assessment of your teeth, jaw muscles, and jaw joint. If we determine that your symptoms are associated with bruxism, we may recommend several treatments, depending on your circumstance.

Many patients are unaware of their bruxism because it often takes place during sleep. This is known as “nocturnal bruxism.” We may recommend a specialist or sleep study to diagnose this type of bruxism. Some people also grind their teeth unconsciously during the day for a variety of reasons.

Risk Factors for Bruxism

There are several factors that can increase your risk of bruxism, including:
•  Stress: Higher levels of stress, anxiety, anger and frustration lead to teeth grinding.
•  Personality Type: People with hyperactive or aggressive personality types tend to have bruxism.
•  Age: Young children often grind their teeth, but grow out of the habit by adulthood.
•  Genetics: Those with a family history of bruxism are more likely to suffer from the disorder.
•  Medications and Substance Abuse: Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco use, and certain medications can cause you to grind your teeth.
•  Other Conditions: Studies have shown that certain disorders like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, sleep apnea, and ADHD are all linked with bruxism.

Mouthguards and Sleep Dentistry

One of the most common treatments designed to address nocturnal bruxism involves the use of a splint or mouthguard. This type of oral appliance serves as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing premature enamel wear. We offer custom-fit mouthguards to provide an appliance with superior comfort and effectiveness.

We may also recommend orthodontic or restorative treatment to move the teeth and jaw back into the proper alignment. Sleep dentistry, which involves the use of sedation medications, can also reduce your anxiety during your appointment, and prevent you from clenching your jaw. Stress management and behavior counseling are effective treatment options for patients that want easy and minimally-invasive solutions.

Schedule Your Consultation

Find out if you have bruxism today! If you have any of the symptoms listed above, call (916) 683-1335 to schedule your consultation.

Schedule An Appointment

Are you ready to schedule an appointment? Do you have questions? We are happy to help and are looking forward to talking to you! Call us today at (916) 683-1335 or fill out our easy-to-use request an appointment form.

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