When was the last time you checked in with your jaw? In these stressful times, perhaps you’ve noticed that you clench or grind your teeth more frequently, or that your jaw has begun to pop as you chew or talk. While occasional grinding or clenching may not be harmful, regular grinding can cause damage to your teeth and impact your jaws and joints. Sounds scary! However, you’re not alone! Some 30 to 40% of Americans have jaw pain or grind their teeth. Talking to Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos is a great first step to addressing the aches in your jaw and face. Here are some symptoms to look out for and some tips to keep your jaw from causing you pain.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, often happens at night while you sleep. Even if you’re not aware of grinding and clenching your teeth, you’re probably experiencing some symptoms in the daylight hours. Here are a few common symptoms:
- Dull headache
- Sore jaw, neck, or face muscles
- Popping or cracking when moving jaw
- Tooth pain or sensitivity
- Chipped or flattened teeth
There are steps you can take to stop grinding your teeth and Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos should be part of your plan. If you feel like you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, come in for a comprehensive dental exam so we can help develop a special treatment plan for you. For example, we can prescribe and fabricate a night guard to help protect your teeth. We can also help you address your stress, as well as find resources and support for relaxing your mind and your jaw muscles. Some tips to consider include:
- Exercise for whole body health and stress reduction
- Counseling to help with stress and anxiety
- Warm compresses to help ease jaw tension
- Jaw exercises to help relax the muscles before bedtime
So, remember to brush your teeth, floss, and relax your jaw! If you need help addressing your jaw pain or teeth grinding, give us a call at 207.781.5900. We are here to help you have dental care that treats you and helps you have a healthy mouth and a healthy life!