Women do you find it attractive when you see a man working his jaw muscle? Or perhaps you find it threatening? In most cases, he probably doesn’t even realize he is doing it. However, it can be a sign of anger or stress, or he may be concentrating hard simply trying to make a decision. Not only men brux. Women brux, and so can children. What is bruxing? It is the chronic grinding and clenching of your teeth. It is often done during sleep, but if you see that jaw muscle/s working on the side of someone’s face, just under their ear, that is a telltale sign of bruxing.
Bruxing is not good for your teeth or jaw. It can cause wear or other damage to your teeth, affect your bite-function, and lead to a TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder, which is a disorder of your jaw joint/s. If left untreated, bruxing can lead to the need for possible invasive and expensive restorative dental services.
Bruxism can be a challenge to diagnose because it often happens while the person is sleeping so they are not aware that they have the condition. Sometimes their sleeping partner may hear them grind their teeth at night, or someone may notice the above “telltale sign,” or otherwise their dentist may notice excessive wear on their teeth. If you are displaying any of the following symptoms, you may be a bruxer:
- Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tender, sore, or painful jaw
- Tired, stiff, or tight jaw muscles especially upon waking
- Headache originating in the temples
- Neck ache
- Ringing in the ears or earache
While bruxism can be a challenge to diagnose, it is very easy to treat. Common treatment consists of a custom-fabricated oral appliance, or mouthguard, that you wear while you are sleeping. The appliance keeps your upper and lower teeth from touching and clenching or grinding together, reducing the chances of dental damage and wear. It also helps relieve undue pressure on your jaw joints protecting against possible TMDs.
ABOUT YOUR PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS DENTIST:
With decades of professional dental care experience, native of Kansas City, Robert M Browne, DDS is proud to provide general, cosmetic, restorative, and prosthetic care to patients from Prairie Village and surrounding communities. To learn more or to schedule a visit with Dr. Browne, contact our office today at (913) 901-8585.