When a person regularly grinds his or her teeth, or clenches the jaw, this is referred to as bruxism. Over time, persistent teeth grinding can lead to damaged teeth and serious complications. But what makes us grind our teeth? How can a dentist stop teeth grinding?
The Causes of Teeth Grinding
Multiple factors can lead to the onset of bruxism. For example, tooth loss, misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, and untreated TMJ disorder can all make teeth grinding more likely. However, the most common cause behind grinding and clenching is typically high stress levels in your daily life.
Warning Signs of Bruxism
If no one can alert patients that they grind their teeth at night, then patients need to be aware of the symptoms that manifest during the day. Often, patients report pain in their face or jaw, as well as tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures or regular toothaches. Other warning signs include headaches or pain in the neck or shoulders. If one or more of these potential symptoms applies to you, then contact our team for a thorough diagnosis. We can assess the wear and friction on your teeth to see if you need treatment.
Helping You Stop Grinding Your Teeth
We may recommend avoiding hard or chewy foods, as the repetitive chewing action can worsen the problem. We can also improve your bite’s alignment with orthodontics or custom-made dental crowns. Often, we treat the issue with an oral appliance. Similar in appearance to a nightguard, the device will be worn at night and places a barrier between the upper and lower set of teeth, preventing further damage. The appliance can also reposition the jaw to ease strain on the joints and assess common causes of bruxism. If you have any questions about treating bruxism or if you feel you need a diagnosis, then contact our team today.
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