Many people grind their teeth at night and don’t even realize they do it. Unless a spouse complains about the grinding noise or a dentist notices the wearing down of the teeth, a diagnosis may not be made until the habitual grinding causes symptoms in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Bruxism is the term for this involuntary teeth grinding, and it is usually caused by some type of stress or anxiety. Because the grinding occurs mainly at night, it is impossible to voluntarily stop. Symptoms of bruxism include jaw pain, morning headaches, clicking noises in the jaw, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). When seeking treatment for bruxism, it is important to find an experienced neuromuscular dentist who possesses the necessary training to correct the condition. The treatment for bruxism will usually include a custom made orthotic appliance, also called a nightguard. This oral appliance fits over your teeth and is usually worn while you sleep, but severe cases may require daytime wear as well. When Phoenix neuromuscular dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox fits you with a nightguard, it will accomplish several goals:
- Prevent wear on the teeth
- Place the jaw in an optimal position to avoid muscle pain
- Protect the temporomandibular joint by making sure it is positioned properly
If you have been told that you grind your teeth while sleeping or if you have symptoms of bruxism, please contact our Phoenix neuromuscular dentist today. Desert Smiles serves patients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, Arizona areas.