Do you wake up with a headache or sore jaw? Are your teeth sensitive to cold? Recently in San Francisco, we had winds of over 50MPH. “We had some patients call in that day claiming to have tooth sensitivity,” said San Francisco Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Loev. Why you ask… Winds are cold, and teeth that are subjected to the stresses of clenching and grinding can become extra sensitive.
Why are my teeth sensitive?
Sensitivity from this habit named bruxism is one of the most common complaints received by dentists, it is thought that 70% of the population bruxes. When under stress, many people find themselves grinding their teeth or clenching their jaws. Some people do this while driving, rushing or working but many people do it unconsciously while they sleep.
In addition to stress and/or anxiety, sleep disorders can play a role in bruxism too. Even a misaligned bite and missing and crooked teeth can contribute. Teeth sensitivity aren’t the only symptoms of clenching one's teeth, symptoms similar to sinus infections, dull headache or a sore jaw can also occur.
How do I stop clenching and grinding my teeth?
It’s easy to say reduce stress, but often the many demands of busy life make this tough. A visit to your dentist can help. Your dentist will examine your teeth and jaw and ask questions to try and determine why you are having discomfort. Many times your dentist will fit you for a custom mouth guard to wear while you sleep. Many complain about wearing an occlusal guard this is often because they have bought a large, blobby over the counter model (much better than nothing). The professionally fabricated guards are fabricated after a model of your teeth, they are less bulky and are designed to soften when rinsed in warm water before placement to increase comfort. We are saying that they are super glamorous to wear or that you are going to look forward to wearing them, at least not initially. In fact, Patients complained so much about their nightguards that Dr. Loev and his team wrote an article a few years ago titled “Hate wearing your night guard oral appliance I did too” to offer tips and suggestions on how to get over the initial acclimation period with your nightguard.
Why would I want to wear a nightguard if they are so ugly and uncomfortable?
Severe, extended clenching and grinding can lead from mere sensitivity to painful cracked and even loose teeth. Also, patients have found relief to what they thought was sinus issues just from trying to relax more, wearing a bite guard and in some more severe situation taking some relaxing medication to help relax the very powerful TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
If any of these symptoms sound familiar call your dentist today. As we have reviewed, bruxism can have a negative impact on one's life and mouth. Treatment is simple and effective.
Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Edward L. Loev, DMD has been practicing dentistry in his Downtown San Francisco dental office for four decades. He has surrounded himself with an amazing team of individuals who are committed to patient care and service. Call them today at 415-392-2072 to set-up a complimentary cosmetic consultation or even just a new patient visit if you are in need/want of a new dentist.