Millions of people are affected by bruxism, or teeth grinding. Bruxism is one of the common dental concerns that Dr. Scott Finlay treats in his Annapolis office. 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 Teeth 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 custom treatment plan to meet your unique needs and goals.
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. You will need to wear the mouth guard 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 fit better than any over the counter options.
In some cases, we will suggest orthodontic treatment to bring your teeth into the proper position and allow them to fit together better. We offer invisible braces and Six Month Smiles for discreet treatment.
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.
If teeth grinding damages teeth, Dr. Finlay offers a range of restorative dentistry procedures. These treatments will restore 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 easier to treat if caught early. 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.