Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition where 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. It is important to protect your teeth from the damage teeth grinding causes and take measures to stop yourself from grinding so that you do not suffer from the symptoms of grinding.
Signs and Symptoms Of Teeth Grinding
While many patients do not realize they grind their teeth, Dr. Umo 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. Patients may experience the following symptoms associated with teeth grinding:
- 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 stress relief methods. 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 several treatment options for people affected by bruxism. The first step in teeth grinding treatment is to attempt 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 due to teeth grinding.
Stop Teeth Grinding
A teeth grinding mouthguard is one of the most common ways to stop teeth grinding. A mouthguard does not always stop teeth grinding entirely, however, it does protect teeth against damage. 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, we will take dental impressions of your teeth. Those will be sent to a dental lab where your mouthguard will be fabricated. This type of mouthguard offers higher quality materials and a better fit. Mouthguards generally last a long time as well.
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. Umo can use dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding to repair teeth and give you back a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Do you have further questions about what causes teeth grinding and how to prevent it? Continue reading to learn more and find answers to frequently asked questions in our office.
What vitamin deficiency causes teeth grinding?
If you grind your teeth it may be due to a vitamin deficiency. A deficiency of calcium or magnesium may cause patients to grind their teeth. Taking an oral supplement of these vitamins may stop patients from teeth grinding. Calcium may be found naturally in foods such as dairy milk, cheese, edamame, orange juice, and almonds. Magnesium may be found in foods such as almonds, chia seeds, soymilk, peanuts, and spinach. Increasing your intake of these foods may reduce teeth grinding.
How do you stop teeth grinding?
Many patients who grind their teeth get a mouthguard to prevent further damage to teeth. Practicing a regular nighttime routine and being sure to relax before bed can help prevent teeth grinding. Massaging your jaw is a good way to relax muscles, lessening tension and grinding.
What causes teeth grinding?
The main reason people grind their teeth is due to stress and anxiety. People clench their jaw and grind their teeth in response to stress. Another cause of teeth grinding is sleep apnea. Patients may also have a genetic predisposition to grind their teeth that they are completely unaware of. Regardless of what causes teeth grinding, it is important to protect the patient’s teeth from the damage that it may cause.
Can teeth grinding be cured?
Yes, you can cure teeth grinding by addressing the root cause. Your dentist can recommend solutions for teeth grinding and ways to prevent grinding effects. Although the cause will have to be found and addressed to completely cure your bruxism, we can help you diagnose what may be causing it and give you methods to prevent it from occurring. We can also take preventive measures to protect your teeth in the event that you do grind them.
Schedule A Dental Exam & Consultation Today
contact Harford County Dentistry for a dentist that can help you fix teeth grinding in the Bel Air, MD and Fallston, MD area. Call 410-994-2627 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Umo or request an appointment online. Visit us at 1810 Bel Air Road, Fallston, Maryland.