Posted on 7/10/2019 by Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group
Clenching your teeth and grinding your teeth are both very common conditions. Some of our patients grind or clench when they are awake and others grind or clench when they are asleep. The technical term for grinding and/or clenching your teeth is bruxism.
Bruxism is a very common condition. Most people who have bruxism have it because of stress. And sure, if stress causes the bruxism then removing the stress that is causing it is the way to go. Remove the root cause and the problem goes away. However, most people can't just get rid of the stress. If they could, they probably would have already. For patients who clench their teeth in their sleep, the condition is more challenging. Why? It is more challenging because they may not even realize they do it.
How Do You Discover You Clench in Your Sleep?
Similar to sleep apnea, bruxism, which is done when you are sleeping is frequently first noticed by the person you sleep with. That person could notice the noise, feel the tension, or see your jaw moving or tightening up. They would mention it to you and then you should call us. Why call us instead of your doctor?
Though bruxism is typically a stress-related condition it can also be caused by jaw misalignment. In either case, we can more easily detect the condition. Bruxism causes certain wear patterns on the surface of your teeth. These wear patterns can give us a clue as to whether you are clenching or grinding. You can help diagnose the problem too.
If you clench your teeth at night you may wake up with a headache for no apparent reason. You could have inexplicable pain in your face. You could have tooth pain, even though you have no obvious cavities or other tooth problems. Another sign is a sore jaw. If you have any of these symptoms and have reason to believe you may be clenching your teeth give us a call. We can determine if you are clenching your teeth and come up with a plan just for you.
MMSG News and Events Dr. Del Valle and Dr. Shahgoli offer this blog to our patients and the community. Our hope at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group is that our blog will cover the subjects that you and your family may be interested in.