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Man with jaw pain due to BruxismAre you waking up in the morning with unexplained pain in your jaw and teeth? Do you have a mysterious headache in your temples and an earache that does not go away? If you have ongoing pain in your jaw, neck, ears, and temples, then there is a very good chance that you are suffering from a fairly common condition known as bruxism.

Bruxism means that you grind your teeth, whether during the daytime or at nighttime in your sleep. If you suspect that you have bruxism, please reach out to us here at Bradshaw Family Dental right away. We can help you quickly address and treat this problem before it gets worse.

What Is Bruxism and What Causes It?

Bruxism occurs when you grind or clench your teeth. Often, people with this condition are not even aware that they are suffering from it. Instead, they are noticing the symptoms of bruxism, but cannot pinpoint why they feel so lousy all the time. Complications that can arise from bruxism include an ongoing headache, earache, or jaw pain and cuts and abrasions inside your cheek. However, it can also lead to the erosion of your dental enamel, loose teeth, and eventual tooth loss.

The causes of bruxism are not very well understood, but we suspect that it often has to do with stress. If you are going through a rough patch in life, whether it is personal, or you have some added stress at work, you may find yourself grinding your teeth. It is no coincidence that “Type A” personalities are more likely to be diagnosed with bruxism.

It is also fairly common in children, but it tends to go away as the patient grows older. People who drink or use tobacco products may be more likely to grind their teeth. Bruxism has a genetic component to it, so if anyone in your family suffers from it, you may be more likely to, also. Certain disorders like ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy have been linked to bruxism, too.

If we suspect that you have bruxism and diagnose you with it, we can help you treat it to give you relief from its symptoms. We may advise a nighttime mouth guard to help prevent you from grinding your teeth in your sleep. A dental splint can also help. Medications like muscle relaxants and anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicines can also be beneficial. Botox treatment has been promising for treating bruxism, too. Even mental therapy can help our patients who grind their teeth, as it can help them learn stress management skills.

Ways To Help

If you have bruxism, you can also try changing your lifestyle and diet. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol. Try listening to relaxing music at night to help you wind down before bedtime to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Enlist your significant other to let you know if they hear you grinding your teeth at night, and if they report that you have been grinding your teeth at night, please let us know.

Regular dental appointments are very beneficial to help diagnose and treat the complications that can arise due to bruxism. If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth, or learning more about bruxism, please give us here at Bradshaw Family Dental a call today at (928) 277-0076!


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