Like many things in the scientific community, you’ve heard of bruxism, but you likely know it by a more common name. In this case, bruxism is just the scientific term for teeth grinding, which is something just about everyone has done at some point in their life. Chronic teeth grinding, however, can be problematic and damaging to your teeth. Thankfully, Jamestowne South Dental Cracchiolo and his team offer teeth grinding solutions for Bingham Farms patients suffering from bruxism, including custom-fitted mouthguards.
Escape the Nightly Grind.
Is Bruxism Dangerous?
Just because you’re having a very stressful day and are grinding your teeth a bit in frustration doesn’t mean you’re doing any long-term damage to your teeth, but if bruxism is something you experience often or even daily, you could face some serious problems over time. The most common dangers are fracturing, loosening, or even the loss of teeth. Chronic grinding can also wear teeth down to stumps, requiring serious dental intervention and repair.
Bruxism can also be a precursor to TMD/TMJ, which is a condition that generates chronic jaw pain. In short, it isn’t something with positive outcomes and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
What Causes Bruxism?
While it certainly can be exacerbated by stress and anxiety, most bruxism occurs when a person is sleeping. Most often, it’s caused by an abnormal bite, missing teeth, or crooked teeth. Patients needing sleep apnea treatment can also experience bruxism while they sleep.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
Typically, Jamestowne South Dental can spot signs of bruxism at your twice-annual dentist appointments. While doing a standard dental exam, he’ll look for certain symptoms, such as:
- Flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth
- Unusual tooth sensitivity
- Worn tooth enamel exposing deeper layers of the tooth
- Chewing damage on the inside of your cheek.
You may also notice certain symptoms yourself. If your tooth grinding is loud enough to wake up your partner, for example, it could be a problem. If you’re having trouble sleeping, experiencing tight or sore jaw muscles, pain in your neck or face, or even headaches, these may be symptoms of bruxism, as well.
How Jamestowne South Dental Treats Bruxism
If you’re experiencing enough symptoms to warrant treatment, Jamestowne South Dental will make one or more recommendations to help stop the problem itself and perhaps correct any damage caused by chronic bruxism.
The most common treatment is a mouth guard used while sleeping. Mouthguards for Bingham Farms patients are a great way to keep teeth from making contact with each other and are perfectly comfortable to wear at night.
If the bruxism is caused or made worse by stress, Jamestowne South Dental may also suggest some lifestyle changes, such as starting an exercise program, visiting a therapist, or taking medications that either relax muscles or lessen anxiety. Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol may also help.
If your teeth have been damaged due to long-term bruxism, Jamestowne South Dental can fill gaps and repair teeth by using crowns, bridges, root canals, dental implants, or dentures, depending on the damage and/or the tooth loss.
In any event, Jamestowne South Dental can help make your sleep (and everyday life) more peaceful and less painful by working to reduce bruxism and better protect your teeth, jaw, and neck muscles.