Bruxism is the habitual clenching and/or grinding of the teeth. It most often occurs at night during sleep, when the jaw muscles are not being actively controlled by the brain. Our dentist in Agoura Hills is the person to go to if you notice you are suffering from this issue.
No expert in bruxism is quite sure why this problem develops in patients. However, we do know that it can occur due to high levels of stress, anxiety, and/or depression. It has also been associated with poor posture, bad sleeping habits, acid reflux, and misaligned teeth. Bruxism tends to have many of the same underlying issues as TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Bruxism should be treated as soon as possible, as it can lead to serious dental issues. The pressure and friction caused by clenching and grinding the teeth together can quickly lead to enamel wear, chips and cracks, and damaged restorations. You should be able to identify this issue through the pain and discomfort it causes in the teeth and jaw. Some patients even wake up and find they are clenching their teeth.
Our dentist will likely prescribe a night guard to keep the teeth from meeting and becoming damaged.