For a number of reasons, many of us will occasionally grind our teeth. These episodes are short lived and temporary. However, if you have bruxism, in which you grind your teeth regularly, then your oral health could suffer. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at how our Richfield, MN, patients can stop grinding their teeth and enjoy improved oral health.
The Causes of Bruxism
The factors behind bruxism vary, but often include high levels of stress in day-to-day life, untreated TMJ disorder, injury to the face or jaw, misalignment, bite imbalance, or tooth loss. Over time, the persistent grinding and clenching episodes could begin to wear down tooth enamel, or even crack or chip teeth. The resulting damage could increase the risk of tooth decay and infection, as the sensitive inner tooth structure becomes exposed to bacteria. Treating the issue not only prevents uncomfortable symptoms, but protects your overall oral health as well.
Headaches and Other Warning Signs
While most teeth grinding episodes happen at night, there are warning signs to watch for during the day. Common warning signs may include headaches, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity and toothaches, pain when chewing, and worn-down teeth. A significant other may also alert you to frequent teeth grinding episodes at night. If you begin to experience these potential symptoms, then please let us know right away. We will examine the wear and friction on your teeth and use advanced technology to gain a detailed view of your teeth, gums, jaw, and oral structures. From there, we will be able to identify the best possible treatment option, such as oral appliance therapy.
While avoiding caffeine and biting down on hard objects, such as pencils or ice, could help, we also have treatment options. For example, addressing misalignment with orthodontics, or improving the bite by placing a custom-made restoration could reduce teeth grinding episodes. However, the most common treatment option is an oral appliance. The device will fit comfortably and look very similar to a nightguard. The appliance actually repositions the jaw to ease strain on the joints, while also providing a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, limiting the chances of further damage to the teeth. If you have any questions about identifying or treating bruxism, or if you fear teeth grinding could be impacting your oral health, then contact our team today. We want to help you enjoy a healthy, comfortable smile, and protect your oral health form serious complications.
Do You Grind Your Teeth?
If you have problems with bruxism, then may have comfortable and non-invasive treatment options. To learn more about stopping teeth grinding and other preventive treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.