What is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding, often referred to as bruxism, is a condition that can affect the overall health of the mouth and jaw. Grinding typically occurs at night when people aren’t even aware of what they’re doing. You may grind your teeth during the day because of anxiety or stress. Regardless of when you grind your teeth, consistent bruxism can lead to tooth fracture, TMJ-related pain as well as headaches and mouth soreness.
What causes Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism can be caused by a variety of different situations. Treatment is available for most causes of bruxism and can both help to prevent grinding as well as put a stop to damage that has already been done. Some common causes of bruxism include:
- Anxiety and stress
- Uneven bite
- Missing teeth
- Sleep apnea
In some cases, there is no real cause of bruxism other than the act itself. Most commonly, patients grind their teeth at night and are unaware of what they’re doing until they wake up with a sore jaw and a throbbing headache.
What makes you a good candidate for treatment of Teeth Grinding?
A dental exam can normally spot signs of bruxism, especially if it’s been going on for awhile. You may be a good candidate for treatment if you suspect or know that you grind your teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, some tell-tale signs to look for include morning-specific headaches, TMJ pain and discomfort as well as flat-looking teeth. Patients who grind their teeth are good candidates for treatment because stopping the behavior can prevent oral problems from getting worse.
What can you expect for treatment involving Teeth Grinding?
If sleep apnea is the cause of your nighttime grinding, there are many sleep apnea treatments available. These treatments include wearing a device that opens up the airway at night, making it easier to breathe and preventing grinding. If your grinding is due to missing teeth or an uneven bite, orthodontic treatment as well as bridge work or implants can be helpful. Most often, bruxism is treated with a simple oral device that is worn at night. The device is made specifically for your mouth and should be worn each night. It will help to provide cushioning between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from coming into contact.
If you grind your teeth and are ready to receive treatment, call our office today and we’ll work to get you in for an appointment.