Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition in which you clench or grind your teeth. A mild case of teeth grinding may not require treatment, but chronic, long term teeth grinding can lead to serious problems including jaw disorders, headaches and worn or damaged teeth.
Signs and Symptoms Of Teeth Grinding
While many patients do not realize they grind their teeth, Dr. Elliott can easily diagnose teeth grinding through a simple visual examination. Most people who grind their teeth do so in their sleep and may have issues believing the diagnosis. For some patients, the signs and symptoms may be obvious. They may experience the following teeth grinding symptoms:
- Worn, flat or chipped teeth
- Abraded tooth enamel
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain or tightness in the jaw muscles
- Facial pain
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
Many cases of teeth grinding are caused by stress. If your teeth grinding is caused by stress, you may benefit from lifestyle changes, exercise, anxiety medication, or other methods of stress relief. Other teeth grinding causes include:
- Malocclusion (improper alignment of teeth)
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
- Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease
- Anxiety, anger, or tension
Teeth Grinding Treatment
There are a number of treatment options for people affected by bruxism. The first step in teeth grinding treatment is to stop the patient from grinding or clenching the teeth. The next step is to correct the source of the problem, be it malocclusion, environmental factors, or TMJ disorder. Finally, the dentist will repair any damage that has occurred as a result of teeth grinding.
Stop Teeth Grinding
A teeth grinding mouth guard is one of the most common ways to stop teeth grinding. This is a removable appliance that is custom made to fit perfectly over your teeth and prevent teeth grinding. Most teeth grinding mouth guards are worn at night, however some patients benefit from wearing mouth guards during high stress situations such as while driving.
Getting a custom mouthguard can save you tons of money on teeth repairs. At your appointment, Dr. Elliott will take dental impressions of your teeth. Those will be sent to a dental lab where your mouth guard will be fabricated. This type of mouthguard offers higher quality materials and a better fit.
Cosmetic Dentistry to Repair Damage
After the teeth grinding has been stopped and the cause has been treated, we will focus on repairing any tooth damage with cosmetic dentistry treatments. Chronic teeth grinding can leave teeth worn, chipped, or broken and even affect the health of the gums. Dr. Elliott can use dental crowns, porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding to repair teeth and give you back a healthy, functional and beautiful smile.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are searching for a dentist that treats teeth grinding in the Bel Air, MD and Fallston, MD area, contact Harford County Dentistry. Call 410-994-2627 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elliott or request an appointment online. Our dentist office is conveniently located at 1810 Bel Air Road in Fallston, Maryland.