Frequent headaches, worn teeth, or broken teeth can have many different causes but one of the most common ones is chronic teeth grinding, clinically called “bruxism.” Many people suffering from bruxism aren’t even aware that they grind their teeth as it often happens while they are sleeping. However, it can also happen unconsciously throughout the day, often as a reaction to stress. Dentists like Durham, NC dentist Dr. Brent L. Blaylock can easily identify teeth grinding and help you with ways to stop it and its side effects.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
Tooth grinding and jaw clenching often indicate an issue with the bite. This term refers to the alignment of your teeth when you bring them together. People who grind or clench their teeth often have uneven bites – conditions commonly known as underbite or overbite.
Teeth grinding is commonly associated with stress that can stem from your own personal environmental factors or from problems inside the mouth and with the jaw. When teeth, jaw, and intricate system of muscles in the mouth and neck aren’t working properly, it creates tension. This tension can lead to headaches, facial pain, and teeth grinding.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
Dentists can usually easily identify signs of teeth grinding, such as:
- Worn or dull teeth, especially chips or flat spots
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain
- Frequent headaches
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
How to Stop Teeth Grinding
A lot of advice suggests reducing your stress levels, which may help you stop grinding your teeth, but if that stress is inside the mouth and out of your control, you may need other ways to help stop teeth grinding. Often a combination of stress reduction and occlusal appliances are recommended to treat bruxism.
There are a few different options available in the form of occlusal appliances. You might be familiar with night guards, which are a type of occlusal appliance. These are custom-fitted to each patient’s mouth and designed to fit over the top or bottom teeth to stop nighttime teeth grinding.
For more severe cases, your dentist may recommend mandibular advancement devices, which are designed to gradually pull the jaw forward to treat a sleep disorder. Often poor sleep can be a contributing factor in bruxism. These devices are often referred to as “snore guards,” which help align the jaw during sleep to help with sleep apnea or snoring.
Bruxism Treatment in Durham, NC
Teeth grinding can damage your tooth enamel, causing you discomfort and making complicated restorative dental procedures necessary. It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you believe you may be grinding your teeth. Dr. Blaylock’s practice is a full-service dental office that can help you put an end to bruxism and keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Call 919.518.9963 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.