Have you ever heard of bruxism? A common dental health problem, bruxism occurs when people grind their teeth or clench their jaws frequently. Without treatment, this could mean damaged, decayed, or infected teeth! Fortunately, your Richfield, MN, dentist can help stop teeth grinding and offer healthier smiles.
The Causes of Bruxism
In childhood, periodic teeth grinding isn’t unheard of, but these episodes are temporary and stop with time. However, in adulthood nightly teeth grinding could mean a serious disorder. The causes vary, but the disorder may be the result of injury to the face or jaw, tooth loss, misalignment, bite imbalance, untreated TMJ disorder, and high levels of stress. As part of your diagnosis, we will examine your smile to identify the factors behind your bruxism and prescribe the most appropriate treatment options.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
For many, a significant other will usually let them know that they grind their teeth. Otherwise, we need to be aware of symptoms that occur during waking hours. Warning signs could include sores in the face or jaw, headaches and migraines, pain in the neck and shoulders, or tooth sensitivity and toothaches. Without treatment, the disorder will place serious pressure on the teeth, wearing down enamel and even cracking or chipping them. Damaged enamel means a greater risk of tooth decay and infection, causing serious pain and for some, the risk of losing a tooth altogether.
A Custom Mouthguard
In order to halt bruxism, we will take detailed impressions and measurements of your smile, using the information to create a mouthguard that fits comfortably and offers treatment with precision and accuracy. Worn at night, the device will reposition the jaw to ease pressure on the jaw joints and prevent grinding episodes. The appliance also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth, which prevents further chipping or cracking and preserves your protective layer of tooth enamel. Other treatment options may include orthodontics, custom-made restorations, or changes to your daily life, like cutting back on caffeinated products and avoiding chewy foods and chewing on objects like pens, pencils, gum, or ice. If you recognize the warning signs we’ve discussed in today’s blog, then contact our team today to discuss possible solutions. We want to return your smile to optimal heath, function, and beauty!
Do You Grind Your Teeth?
Our team would like to help you enjoy a health smile, not one damaged by teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Whether you need a custom-made mouthguard, or to undergo orthodontic treatment, we’re here to help you enjoy better smiles! To find out more about our preventive treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.