Do your grind your teeth together while you sleep?
Teeth grinding, or bruxism is a detrimental habit for your dental health. Typically occurring at night with you are asleep, teeth grinding can be difficult to diagnose because many patients are unaware that they are doing it. During your routine preventative care appointments, Dr. Nishan Halim, your neighborhood dentist in Washington, DC, evaluates your smile and looks for signs and symptoms of teeth grinding.
To help his patients who are suffering from bruxism, Dr. Halim provides custom mouthguards designed to comfortably protect your teeth while you sleep. Our office can also provide restorative dentistry solutions to revitalize your teeth from any issues caused by teeth grinding, like TMJ disorders.
Bruxism Treatment Options in Washington, DC
Teeth grinding can occur in patients of all ages, even adults. It is a common coping mechanism to hold stress and anxiety in your facial muscles. During high-stress situations, if you notice yourself clenching your jaw together or grinding your teeth, it is likely that you suffer from bruxism. Bruxism means that you are pressing your teeth together in your sleep, sometimes grinding them against each other. When this happens repeatedly, bruxism can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Chipped teeth
- Worn-down teeth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Facial soreness
- Tension headaches
- Jaw pain
If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to mention them at your next dental appointment. Dr. Halim is happy to provide oral appliance therapy via custom mouthguards to prevent dental damages resulting from teeth grinding. The mouthguard acts as a protective layer, separating your upper and lower teeth, and ensuring that your jawbone remains in a healthy resting position as you sleep. Investing in a custom mouthguard now can save you from needing costly restorative care if you were to suffer from long-term dental damages caused by teeth grinding.
Dr. Halim also provides TMJ treatment.
Additionally, we encourage patients to practice mindfulness outside of the dentist’s office. Leave yourself reminders around your home and workspace to relax your jawbone and facial muscles. Make sure that you are moving your jawbone around as you work instead of keeping it in a firm position all day. Lastly, we recommend doing some stress management or deep breathing exercises before bed to ensure you are relaxed before falling asleep.
Is it Bruxism or TMJ?
Bruxism and TMJ disorders are tied closely together. Both conditions can impact the other and they have characteristics that overlap. An evaluation of your condition can help us determine what we’re dealing with. Bruxism is often considered less severe than TMJ, but it can still have lasting impacts on your smile. An evaluation helps us determine if you’re just grinding your teeth or if the jaw joint is actually breaking down and deteriorating.
Regardless, it’s not something that you can let go. Both of these conditions can cause you pain and can impact the function of your mouth and jaw. Putting your teeth under extensive pressure can also damage those as well. With a complete evaluation, we’ll determine the best combination of therapies to keep your condition under control.
Schedule an Appointment
Do you think you may have a problem with teeth grinding or TMJ? Call us or schedule an appointment online for a consultation.