If you wake up with a headache and a sore jaw or facial pain you may be grinding your teeth during your sleep. Bruxism is the act of clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth during sleep and a number of factors can cause this problem.
Although this is often associated with stress, it can also be an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. Sleep disorders, the use of tobacco, alcohol or other psychoactive substances, along with stress can cause you to clench your jaw during the night.
Because sleeping with a clenched jaw exerts excessive force ( 200 lbs.) of pressure on the teeth and jaw joints it can be very damaging.
In addition to headaches, grinding your teeth can lead to other problems. These problems include: shortening of teeth, tooth sensitivity, cracked and broken teeth, loss of tooth structure, gum recession or loose teeth.
Along with these issues comes damage to the bone structure of the jaw joint.
Because of the damage to the jaw joint, patients can develope temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ syndrome) which can become chronic.
Up to 15 percent of Americans clench their jaws at night, so you’re not alone. A dental exam with Dr. Angela S. Evanson, DDS could help you alleviate your headaches by repairing the affected teeth and by prescribing a mouthguard!
Do You Have Bruxism?
According to research, those who grind their teeth and clench their jaw tend to feel more stressed at work and in their daily life. Because of this, your dental health and your overall health can be adversely affected.
You can suffer from grinding your teeth and not know it. If you have stress headaches or migraines and you suspect that you’re clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, make an appointment with Dr. Evanson.
During your consultation, Dr. Evanson will check for other symptoms of grinding your teeth.
Common Symptoms of Bruxism (Besides Headaches)
The following symptoms are common symptoms from grinding your teeth:
- Chipping or cracking teeth, especially on surfaces where teeth come in contact
- Aching jaw and facial muscles, along with stiffness in the jaw early in the morning
- Pain in your teeth and tooth sensitivity to pressure, heat, and cold
- Poor quality of sleep
- Earache, tinnitus and sinus pains
- Pain while chewing or opening your mouth
- Stiff neck and shoulders
Avoid the Long-term Effects of Grinding Your Teeth
If left untreated, bruxism can have long-term effects, and plague you with unbearable symptoms. Allow Dr. Evanson to help restore you to a better-quality life with the proper treatment to alleviate your symptoms. Some of the long-term effects include:
- Prolonged untreated headaches and migraines
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
- Clicking or popping jaw joint
- Tooth wear and tooth loss
Dr. Evanson can determine if grinding your teeth is the cause of your headaches and offer solutions. Some such solutions include a custom night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. This nightguard will curb bruxism symptoms, and help to eliminate headaches.
Dr. Evanson can create a custom night guard by creating a mold of your teeth, which creates a buffer between the upper and lower teeth, and prevents them from grinding together.
Dr. Evanson is skilled in managing the effects of grinding your teeth, caring for your dental health and the dental needs of your whole family. Call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Evanson. Her office is located at 17167 E. Cedar Gulch Parkway #202, which is also accessible to patients in the neighboring communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, migraines or have jaw pain when you wake up, or notice unusual wear on your teeth, Dr. Evanson can help you get on track for getting a good night’s sleep free of teeth grinding.