Bruxism is the medical terminology used to describe grinding or clenching of teeth. Bruxism is abnormal chewing activity that is caused by uncontrolled activation of reflex chewing pathways.
Some people with bruxism unconsciously clench or grind their teeth at night or during the daytime when they are under stress. In most cases, bruxism may be mild and require no treatment. However, in other cases it can be severe and cause damage to teeth and the TM joint, headaches, and other jaw disorders.
The signs and symptoms of bruxism are as follows:
- Worn down enamel, chipped, or flattened teeth
- Jaw pain or tightness in neck and facial muscles (especially in early morning after you wake up)
- Headache and migraine triggers
- Chronic myofacial pain
- Chewed tissue on inside of cheeks or tongue
- Earaches not caused by any pathology in your ear
Treatment for bruxism varies to the degree of severity of the disease, from physical therapy, to muscle relaxants, to fabrication of night guards.
Please feel free to call us for consultation regarding bruxism, night guards, and TMJ disorders.