Teeth grinding—also referred to as bruxism—is a common condition among dental patients. Often performed without the patient’s knowledge—usually, as they sleep—teeth grinding involves vigorously rubbing the teeth in the top of your jaw against the teeth in your bottom jaw. As a result, you may experience discomfort around the mouth and even head and neck.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
The primary cause of teeth grinding is known to be stress and anxiety, but there are other things that may lead to teeth grinding, such as sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, TMJ, or even missing or crooked teeth. Recent studies have also found that teeth grinding can be linked to regular alcohol and tobacco use; participants who drank alcohol or smoked were nearly twice as likely to grind their teeth.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can actually have detrimental effects on your dental health. Essentially, when you grind your teeth, you begin to wear down the enamel—or outermost layer—of your teeth, which can lead to cracks and fractures over time. In addition, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Soreness in the jaw, teeth, or gums
- Loose teeth
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Fortunately, advancements in dental technology have allowed us to create easy solutions for teeth grinding! We can create a special mouth guard for you, designed to be worn at night as you sleep. The mouth guard is customized to fit your mouth’s shape and is made with a special material so that you can comfortably wear it. The mouth guard will help protect your teeth from any teeth grinding you perform while you sleep. In addition, the mouth guard will reduce teeth grinding symptoms you may usually experience after you wake up.
While a dental mouth guard can help reduce teeth grinding and its symptoms, it is best that you try to eliminating anything that may be causing you to grind your teeth at night. If you’re feeling stressed during the day, try to participate in activities that help alleviate that stress. Reduce your intake of alcohol or use of tobacco products. If you’re unsure of the cause for your teeth grinding, don’t hesitate to call our office; we can help identify any underlying causes of teeth grinding that may be related to your dental health, such as TMJ or an abnormal bite.