Bruxism refers to the grinding and clenching of teeth, and is an issue that can cause a number of oral health problems.
If you often wake up with a headache or a sore jaw, you might be grinding your teeth at night. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to some serious health issues, including temporomandibular joint disorder; deterioration of the teeth and gums; and even tooth loss. Many people are not even aware that they grind their teeth — read on to find out what some of the signs of bruxism are and what can be done to alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage…
What are the symptoms of bruxism?
Bruxism can be caused by a misaligned bite, which makes chewing more difficult and can cause the teeth to wear down over time. Stress is another common factor that can lead to grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaw. In fact, in many cases, people grind their teeth at night and are not even aware of the habit. If you often wake up in the morning with jaw, facial or neck pain, it could be a sign that you grind your teeth.
Other possible signs of bruxism include sore teeth and gums, earache, tooth sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, and worn down or fractured teeth. If you have noticed any of these symptoms, we recommend that you see your dentist for a thorough examination and diagnosis. A treatment plan can then be tailored for your particular needs.
What are the treatment options?
There are a number of treatments that may be recommended if you grind your teeth, and the treatment that suits you best will depend on a number of factors, including what is causing the issue and the extent of the damage.
One of the ways in which the effects of teeth grinding can be managed is to wear a night-guard or splint. These appliances are designed to reduce the impact of grinding and clenching, and protect the teeth from further damage.
If a misaligned bite is a contributing factor for your grinding habit, it can be helpful to undergo orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic appliances work by gradually moving the teeth into better positions — when the teeth fit together properly, the tendency to grind is often reduced.
Dental crowns are often an effective treatment in cases where grinding has damaged and weakened the teeth. Crowns work by strengthening the existing natural teeth by adding structure to them. They fit over the damaged tooth and provide a natural-looking restoration.
If stress is causing you to grind and clench your teeth, it can be helpful to address this issue. Try and find ways to relax, and consider seeking professional guidance from your doctor or counsellor.
How can we help?
At Access Dental, we offer a range of treatments designed to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism and repair damaged teeth. We offer grinding appliances for the treatment of TMJ, as well as dental crowns for the repair of worn-down teeth. If you are suffering from a misaligned bite, you may benefit from Invisalign.
If you suspect that you grind your teeth and would like to make an appointment to see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will assess your mouth and determine the cause of the grinding before recommending a treatment that suits you.
To see the full list of treatments that we offer at Access Dental, please have a look here.