In this blog post, we’ll discuss bruxism, including its warning signs, potential causes, and treatment.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition that involves clenching and grinding teeth while you’re awake or asleep. For some, bruxism will not require treatment, but for others, the grinding may be so severe and frequent that it could lead to jaw disorders, damaged teeth, and chronic headaches if not addressed. Those who have sleep bruxism may have a harder time diagnosing themselves since they may not be aware of it, which is one reason why regular dental checkups are important. At every appointment, we’ll examine your teeth for unusual signs of wear and tear, which may indicate you grind your teeth.
What Are the Warning Signs of Bruxism?
Some indicators of bruxism that you should be on the lookout for include:
- Sounds of clacking and grinding teeth that wake up your sleep partner
- Worn tooth enamel
- Broken, flattened, or chipped teeth
- Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, or face
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain that mimics an earache
- Tight or locked jaw muscles
- Dull headaches at the temples
- Sleep disruption & daytime sleepiness
What Causes Bruxism?
Some experts think that bruxism is caused by emotional issues such as stress, frustration, anger, tension, or anxiety. Other contributing factors may include malocclusion (when the teeth and jaw don’t line up correctly), anti-depressant medications (such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil), rare conditions that affect the nerves and muscles in the face, or complications from Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
How Can Bruxism Be Treated?
Once you have been diagnosed by our expert dental team, we can determine the best course of action to address your unique situation. One of the most common treatments is a nightguard, which will separate your teeth and help your chewing muscles to relax so that you can’t damage your teeth. Other solutions include stress or anxiety management, as well as behavioral therapy in which you practice positioning your mouth and jaw in a way that protects your teeth.
Get In Touch with Our Team for Treatment
Do you think you might be suffering from bruxism? Take a big step toward healthier teeth and a better night of sleep–contact Embrace Dental Care today!
You may not realize it, but your dental health is closely connected to the health of your overall body. Here, we’ll explain what the connection between them is, what conditions affect both your dental and overall wellness, and how to protect your oral health.
The Connection Between Dental Health & Overall Wellness
Your mouth is essentially a gateway to the rest of the body–a gateway that is naturally filled with bacteria, most of it harmless, but some of it potentially dangerous. With proper oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you can rid your mouth of much of the bad bacteria that cause poor oral health. However, if you do not thoroughly clean your mouth, you run the risk of developing serious dental health issues, such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. These conditions are worrisome for your teeth and gums, but they can also negatively impact the rest of your body.
Conditions Associated with Poor Oral Health
One of the most serious conditions associated with poor dental health is cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that oral bacteria associated with your dental issues can get into your bloodstream and travel to your heart. This leads to clogged and hardened arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis, which can contribute to a stroke, heart attack, and tissue death. Bad bacteria from your mouth can also make its way to your heart and cause endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of your heart.
Gum disease is another culprit that affects both the mouth and the body. When you have inflamed and infected gums, you can breath in that bad bacteria and develop an infection in your lungs like pneumonia. Gum disease has also been linked to low birth weight and premature birth. Moreover, there is early evidence that suggests an association with Alzheimer’s disease.
Health Conditions with Oral Effects
There are also a number of health conditions that affect the mouth. Those who have diabetes have an increased risk of developing gum disease because diabetes can decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. People who have HIV/AIDS often have painful oral health issues such as mucosal lesions, and those with Alzheimer’s disease experience a decreased ability to care for their oral hygiene as their dementia progresses. Other health conditions that affect oral health include osteoporosis, eating disorders, head and neck cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome, an immune disorder.
How to Keep Your Oral Health in Tip-Top Shape
Regardless of the current state of your oral health and your overall health, the best way to protect your oral health is by practicing good oral health habits every day. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss at least once a day, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet low in added sugar, refined carbohydrates, and acids. It’s also vital for your oral health to come in for regular checkups and cleanings. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment at Embrace Dental Care!
Your oral health plays a large role in your overall health. In fact, did you know that it can be directly linked to your skin’s clarity? We often are advised to “drink more water” or “maintain a healthy diet” when struggling with pesky blemishes. These are definitely sound advice, but perhaps taking better care of your teeth can help too! Read on to learn more about how your smile may be affecting your skin.
Studies have shown that oftentimes the bacteria that is present on your skin can also be found in your mouth. Your mouth is simply acting as the point of entry for bacteria to multiply and move to other areas of the body, causing inflammation and irritation. Bacteria spreads rapidly so ensure you’re taking proper preventive measures to fight off bacteria by maintaining a healthy oral cavity.
The Order of Your Routine Matters
While most people know that your nightly routine should consist of brushing your teeth, flossing, and washing your face, many people don’t pay attention to what order they do that in. If you’re washing your face before brushing, toothpaste residue may remain around your chin and lips. Moreover, if you are flossing after washing your face, your hands are likely touching some areas of your face again. This may transfer bacteria from your hands to your face. For best results, make washing your face the last step in your nightly routine.
From Your Mouth to Your Body
Your mouth and your body are certainly not independent. Think of your mouth as the gateway into your entire system. When your mouth isn’t properly cared for, you increase your susceptibility for full-body diseases. Periodontal disease is associated with an increased occurrence of many different illnesses throughout the body, such as heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia. Your skin is no exception and can certainly be impacted by poor dental hygiene.
How to Have Healthier Teeth & Clearer Skin
Practicing superb dental hygiene will promote clearer skin and stronger teeth, and allow you to eat, speak, laugh, and smile with confidence. In conjunction with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing, come visit our team every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup. Safeguard your total wellness–schedule your routine cleaning with Embrace Dental Care today!