Without Treatment, Your Night-time Teeth-Grinding Can Lead to a Host of Problems
Bruxism, or tooth grinding, is something many of us do without even realizing it. Chances are, we don’t realize the potential for long-term damage that may come with a severe case.
Bruxism is just a fancy word for teeth grinding, gnashing, or clenching. If you catch yourself clenching your jaw during the day, then it’s likely that at night, while you sleep, you’re grinding or clenching your teeth. And while it sounds like a relatively harmless sleep habit, that’s not always the case.
Some cases are mild, and people (especially children) tend to grow out of the habit. But for adults who grind their teeth during their sleep, well, they might not even be aware they’re doing it until some other more concerning sign or side effect pops up.
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Causes and Effects of Bruxism
Doctors don’t entirely understand the causes of bruxism, but it’s likely due to various factors, including genetic, physical, and psychological factors.
Medical personnel also differentiate bruxism into two types: waking bruxism and sleeping bruxism. It’s widely believed that waking bruxism is the product of emotional turmoil, such as feelings of anger, anxiety, and frustration or is a response to stress or intense focus and concentration. Think, for example, about the most recent time you’ve experienced any of those feelings; can you remember clenching your jaw in response?
Sleeping bruxism, however, is thought to be an entirely different beast. Experts suggest that sleeping bruxism is a sleep-related triggered response or sleep arousal response (like sleepwalking and sleeptalking are).
So if your bruxism is of the night-time variety, how are you to know you’re even doing it? Grinding your teeth during sleep can lead to jaw pain and TMJ dysfunction. If you experience any of the following symptoms to the point where they cause significant pain or discomfort, it might be time to consider treatment:
Damage on the inside of your cheek from chewing.
Dull headaches that start in or radiate from the temples.
Face, jaw, or neck pain.
Grinding that is loud enough to wake a sleep partner.
Increased sensitivity or tooth pain.
Pain that feels like an earache.
Teeth that are chipped, flattened, fractured, or loose or that are so worn that the interior layers are exposed.
Tight or tired jaw muscles or difficulty completely opening or closing the jaw, jaw clicking
Severe bruxism has the potential to lead to permanent damage to your teeth, frequent headaches, debilitating facial and jaw pain, and TMJ (a disorder of the temporomandibular joints).
Causes and Effects of Bruxism
There are a handful of treatments for this disorder including night guards and Botox. It just so happens that one of the most effective and easiest treatments to administer is available right here at Waterloo Medical Cosmetics. Our excellent, professional staff are the leading providers of bruxism treatments near you. Our licensed and highly experienced medical team has helped many people in the Waterloo area with their night-time teeth grinding habit.
It turns out that our good friend Botox® is ideal for treating bruxism. While Botox injections are not a permanent solution for bruxism, clinical studies show that they typically last 5-7 months and are often covered by private insurance plans!
Receiving Botox treatments for Bruxism at Waterloo Medical Cosmetics is simple and easy. After being assessed by Dr Michalski, a member of our medical team will inject a small dose of the botulinum toxin into your masseter muscle—that’s the large muscle that moves the jaw. The injected Botox relaxes the masseter muscle enough to reduce the involuntary clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth, and reducing the wear and tear. TMJ-related symptoms, as well as bruxism-caused headaches, can also be improved.
Necessary and voluntary movements, such as chewing and facial expressions, are not affected by this treatment. Furthermore, you’ll be in and out of the office in about 45 minutes, and treatment does not require any recovery time.