Millions of people are affected by bruxism, or teeth grinding. Occasional teeth grinding doesn’t require treatment, but chronic teeth grinding can lead to serious jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems. It can also lead to damaged dental work such as tooth fillings or crowns, cracked teeth, tooth enamel to wear off all of which can lead to tooth sensitivity. In extreme cases, the damaged teeth will allow bacteria to enter the tooth and become infected. This may require a root canal or even extraction.
Signs & Symptoms of Bruxism
In most cases, people do not realize they have a problem because they grind their teeth at night while they are asleep. While you may not realize it, your dentist can easily identify signs and symptoms of bruxism through a simple evaluation. Here are some signs and symptoms you can look for:
- Frequent headaches
- Worn, flattened, fractured or chipped teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tooth sensitivity
- Jaw pain or tightness in the jaw muscles
- Facial pain
- Damaged tissue on the inside of your cheek
Treatment for Tooth Grinding
Many of Dr. Finlay’s patients suffer from teething grinding because of stress and anxiety. People who have a higher than normal stress level can stop grinding their teeth by practicing relaxation techniques or improving their diet. Treatment for tooth grinding varies widely based on the individual diagnosis and lifestyle habits. We will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your tooth grinding. Next we will create a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to you and your unique needs.
- Splint Therapy / Night Guard – A dental splint or teeth grinding mouth guard is the simplest form of treatment. This type of treatment is appropriate for patients whose teeth fit together properly and who have a healthy TMJ. The teeth grinding mouth guard is worn at night to prevent teeth grinding and protect teeth from wear. A night guard from a dentist office will be custom made to fit perfectly in your mouth. It will be of higher quality and superior fit compared to over the counter options.
- Orthodontics – In some cases, orthodontic treatment is recommended to bring your teeth into the proper position and allow them to fit together harmoniously. We offer invisible braces and Six Month Smiles for discreet treatment.
- Bite Equilibration – Malocclusion, or improper alignment of teeth, is a common cause for teeth grinding. Bite equilibration, or bite correction therapy, involves the dentist making minor adjustments to the teeth to allow them to fit together properly, eliminating stress and pressure.
- Restorative Dentistry – For teeth that have been damaged by teeth grinding, Dr. Finlay offers a range of restorative dentistry procedures to bring the teeth back to their proper health and beauty. Dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding are used to restore teeth.
Get Lasting Relief For Teeth Grinding
Like most dental problems, teeth grinding is easiest to treat the earlier it is caught. The long term risks of teeth grinding include tooth loss, gum disease and TMJ related problems. Contact Scott Finlay, DDS & Associates, PA today to schedule a consultation and learn about how to stop your teeth grinding.
Call our Annapolis, MD dentist office at 410.989.7132 or request an appointment online.