Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common condition that affects many people, often during sleep. It can cause a range of symptoms, including worn, chipped, or broken teeth, jaw pain and dysfunction, ringing in the ears, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, facial soreness and fatigue, migraines, tinnitus, sensitive teeth, and gum recession.
The cause of bruxism can vary from person to person and may be related to stress, certain medications, an incorrect bite, or even the use of tobacco or caffeine.
If left untreated, bruxism can lead to inflammation of the jaw muscles, disrupting normal jaw function and causing fatigue, headaches, and facial soreness. It can also lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which can cause clicking, popping, or locking of the jaw joints, making it difficult to eat, yawn, or speak.
To treat bruxism and TMJ disorders, our dentists at MetroPointe Dental Clinic may recommend the use of an occlusal splint, also known as a nightguard. These custom-made devices act as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing teeth from grinding against each other during sleep. They can also relax the muscles in the jaw and reduce inflammation, helping to minimize clicking, popping, and locking of the jaw joints, as well as tension headaches and migraines.