Can grinding your teeth affect your health? Like many other parts of your body, your mouth is a thoroughfare for several interdependent systems, including your immune system. If one part of your oral well-being is out of alignment, it becomes increasingly likely that another may suffer. Bruxism and periodontal disease are a perfect representation of this fact.
How can you spot one over the other? And how might they be connected? If you suffer from both, does that make treatment more difficult? Let’s take a look!
Bruxism: What Is It?
Bruxism is a condition where you grind or clench your teeth unconsciously. There are two categories of bruxism: daytime and nighttime (or sleep) bruxism.
Many patients who suffer from bruxism are unaware they have it or aren’t familiar with the medical terminology. Common signs of Bruxism can include:
- Facial pain and headaches
- Unexplained chipped or cracked teeth
- Jaw locking or dislocation
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Jaw popping or clicking (also known as TMJ)
- Inside cheek damage and tongue indentations
- Flat and smooth biting surfaces
- Worn out enamel or dentin exposure 
Many professionals believe that these symptoms are often common in patients with nervous tension or chronic pain and those under high levels of stress. Some antidepressants can cause bruxism as well as a potential imbalance of brain neurotransmitters.
If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, schedule a consultation with your periodontist to pursue a custom treatment plan.
Home Remedies For Bruxism
Here are a few simple at-home remedies to relieve symptoms of Bruxism.
Begin implementing jaw exercises to stretch and massage jaw and facial muscles. Try to consciously relax your face throughout the day or meditate.
Stress can be a significant factor in contributing to Bruxism. What stressors can you remove from your life? What lifestyle changes could you make that would reduce your day-to-day stress load?
Periodontal Disease: What Is It?
The CDC describes periodontal disease as being primarily the result of infections and inflammations of gum tissue and bone structure that surrounds your teeth. The earliest manifestation is often diagnosed as gingivitis, where the gum line is red and swollen.
In the case of an advanced form of periodontal disease, diagnosed as periodontitis, the gums will separate from the teeth. This may lead to loose teeth or complete tooth loss. Potential symptoms of periodontitis may include:
- Bad breath or chronic bad taste
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Gums that are tender or bleed
- Pain when chewing
- Loose permanent teeth
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Receding gum line
Like many oral health concerns, periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that has infected the tissue around a tooth. When this bacteria lives there long enough, it forms plaque that, if left untreated or brushed, can harden into tartar, requiring professional cleaning to stop the progression of periodontitis.
How Are The Two Related?
The National Library of Medicine conducted a survey on Bruxism-related signs and their connection to periodontal disease. The survey results revealed that patients with periodontal disease suffered from higher levels of bruxism and more so while awake than asleep.
This means that Bruxism may influence and even exacerbate periodontal disease in dental patients. Because of the grinding and clenching of teeth, their gums are more vulnerable, and the supporting teeth have sustained more damage. Together, these factors can cause periodontal disease to progress faster than it otherwise would.
What do Periodontists Recommend for Treatment for Bruxism?
Ask your periodontist about custom mouth guards and splints to separate the upper and lower jaw. This option will provide symptom relief, especially for sleep Bruxism, though it is not a curative solution.
Some temporary plastic surgery injections, such as Botox®, can help by weakening the muscles and reducing involuntary grinding.
Treatment for periodontal disease includes tooth scaling and root planing, or ask your periodontist if laser surgery for your gums is an option.
Treat Bruxism and Periodontal Disease Quickly!
The best treatment plan is a quick one! Don’t delay to reach out to the premier provider of periodontal services at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester! Our skilled team can help you diagnose, treat, and relieve Bruxism and periodontal disease symptoms. 585-685-2005