Understanding Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, known medically as bruxism, isn’t usually something to worry about. Just about all of us grind or clench our teeth from time to time. But if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth on a regular basis, it could damage your teeth and lead to other oral health problems.
Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, but it’s more likely that the repeated behavior is caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. In many cases, the grinding and clenching occur during sleep. It’s also possible that the action is caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.
Because teeth grinding often happens while you sleep, it can be hard to know for sure if you grind your teeth. However, if you regularly wake up with a dull headache or sore jaw, that’s a telltale sign of bruxism. It should be noted that sometimes people will learn that they grind their teeth when their loved one hears the grinding at night.
If you think you might be grinding your teeth, call our Orlando, FL dental office to schedule an appointment. During your appointment, Dr. Thomas Overmeyer or one of our other experienced and knowledgeable staff members will take a look at your teeth and discuss your symptoms with you to get a better idea of whether teeth grinding is to blame. If so, we’ll come up with a plan to help you find relief and protect your oral health from further damage.
Harmful Side Effects Of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding may seem like nothing more than an annoying habit, but if left untreated, it can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw. In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can cause your teeth to break, loosen, or even fall out. Over time, constant grinding can wear your teeth down until nothing is left but stumps. If you get to that point, you may need bridges, root canal therapy, crowns, or even full dentures to restore your smile.
Severe teeth grinding can also affect your jaw. The habit can cause or worsen TMD/TMJ or even change the way your face looks.
How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth
At Overmeyer Family Dental, we offer custom-made night guards that are meant to prevent teeth grinding while you sleep. We make our night guards from materials that are super comfortable and fit your teeth perfectly to avoid interfering with your breathing. During your consultation and mouth exam, we will determine what type of night guard is best for you.
If stress is to blame for your teeth grinding, ask us about ways you can reduce stress.
Popular stress- and symptom-relief methods include counseling, a new exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or getting a prescription for muscle relaxants.
If a sleep disorder like sleep apnea is causing you to grind your teeth, it’s important to first treat the disorder. You’ll then likely see an improvement in your grinding habit or relief all-together.
Additional tips to help you find relief from teeth grinding include:
- Avoid or reduce your consumption of foods and drinks with caffeine
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid chewing on objects that aren’t food, including chewing gum
- Train yourself to avoid clenching your grinding your teeth and try correcting yourself every time you catch yourself grinding your teeth
- Press a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe at night to relax your jaw muscles
Teeth Grinding Treatment In Orlando, FL
The longer you wait to seek treatment for teeth grinding, the more damage is done to your teeth and jaw. Don’t wait another day to call our dental office to schedule an appointment. Relief from your nagging, uncomfortable symptoms could be just one appointment away!