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If you are stressed, don’t follow the advice to “keep a stiff upper lip”- at least not literally. You may end up grinding your teeth!

The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism. It occurs by nature unconsciously, usually while the afflicted is sleeping. Stress can be a major contributor, but there are other causal factors, such as alcohol and tobacco use, a malformed bite, or even a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

Bruxism can be tricky to detect on your own. If you sleep with a spouse or partner, they can help by watching you sleep and checking for signs of teeth grinding. You may also experience dull headaches, jaw soreness, tooth sensitivity, or even have loose or fractured teeth.

If you suspect that you do have bruxism, talk to Dr. Keith Kitchens before you jump to conclusions. Should you be diagnosed, we can offer you many forms of treatment. We can fit you with a custom-made night guard to protect your teeth while you are sleeping. We may offer a muscle relaxant to take before bed. If your bruxism is caused by stress, think about incorporating meditation or exercise into your daily routine or seeing a counselor.

Teeth grinding is actually most seen in children. Luckily, the habit is not usually harmful to them because of their changing teeth and jaws. They usually outgrow it by their teenage years. The causes for their condition vary from that of adults. They include mouth irritation, allergies or misaligned teeth.

If you think you may have bruxism, don’t delay in calling 770-569-7580 to book an appointment with Windward Dental Care in Alpharetta, Georgia. We’re here to support you.