Many people subconsciously grind or clench their teeth from time to time. However, when it becomes intensive enough to cause tooth damage or health problems, it is time to see your Lafayette, LA dentist, Dr. Young.
This condition, known as bruxism, is believed to affect at least 20 percent of Americans. Habitual teeth grinding can cause a wide range of problems from permanent damage to your teeth and gums to jaw disorders and debilitating headaches.
Discover more about bruxism with this true-and-false quiz.
True or False: Many people with bruxism don’t realize they grind their teeth.
True. Even though the grinding can last as long as 40 minutes and be loud enough to wake a sleeping companion, more than 80 percent of people are unaware they have this involuntary reflex.
True or False: The grinding of teeth is a behavioral disorder.
False. Stress and anxiety usually the reason for teeth grinding but other factors can trigger bruxism, such as an irregular bite, sleep apnea, antidepressants, and disorders like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s.
True or False: Ringing in the ears is considered a symptom of bruxism.
True. Other symptoms include abnormal tooth wear, jaw soreness, facial pain, and headache.
True or False: Bruxism only occurs while sleeping.
False. Of the patients who suffer from sleep bruxism, about 20 percent also experience bruxism during waking hours. Characterized by involuntary teeth clenching and jaw bracing, awake bruxism, however, is generally not associated with the rhythmic teeth grinding of sleep bruxism. Awake bruxism is more common in women while both sexes are equally affected by sleep bruxism.
True or False: A mouth guard can help in the treatment of bruxism.
True. Dr. Young can supply a mouth guard to fit over your teeth to eliminate clenching and grinding. However, if this oral appliance is ineffective, Dr. Young might suggest physical therapy, stress-reduction exercises, changing habits, or a visit to an oral surgeon for further evaluation.
About Michael J. Young, DDS
If you or a loved one is experiencing excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching, contact our Lafayette dentist office at (337) 237-6453 for a consultation. Dr. Young sees families living in Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville and surrounding communities. Dr. Young also invites you to find us on Facebook, where you’ll discover news, tips, and valuable resources.