Treatment for Teeth Grinding
By William Stofer on June 29, 2013
There are many different kinds of dental health issues that people face, most of which you are generally aware of. Tooth decay and gum disease, for instance, you can see the effects pretty noticeably. With bad breath, you (or a loved one) will likely notice it relatively easily as well.
Yet there is one particular dental health problem that many do not realize that they suffer from: tooth grinding. Our cosmetic dentistry team would like to take a moment right now to go over the basics of tooth grinding so you have a good idea of what it entails and what to expect.
About Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding (aka bruxism) refers to the gnashing, chewing, shifting, clenching, and gnawing of the teeth that occurs when a patient is asleep.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Though many people believe that teeth grinding is primarily caused by stress, that is actually not the case. Stress can contribute or even cause teeth grinding, that's true, but the most common cause of teeth grinding is misalignment of the teeth. When the teeth or the dental arches are poorly aligned, the teeth cannot find a resting position, causing them to shift while a person sleeps.
Dangers of Teeth Grinding
There are many different dangers related to teeth grinding. For one, teeth grinding can cause headaches, jaw pain, earaches, and tooth pain when a patient wakes up. A number of dentists have noted that the teeth grinding can result in tooth damage, such as chips and cracks.
The biggest danger of tooth grinding is TMJ disorders. This refers to major strain or pressure put on the jaw joint that results in clicking, popping, locking, or grinding in the joint. It can be very painful, and can even make simple actions like laughing and yawning extremely uncomfortable.
Addressing the Tooth Grinding Itself
One of the most important steps of treatment is addressing the root cause of the tooth grinding. This often means a few things. First of all, patients are often given a bite guard to wear when they sleep. When in place, the bite guard will keep the upper dental arch from making contact with the lower dental arch, alleviating pressure on the jaw and tooth damage in the process.
In addition to the bite guard, orthodontic care may be prescribed to address tooth alignment and stress management techniques may be suggested as well.
Addressing Tooth Damage from Teeth Grinding
It's also important that dental health professionals help restore the health and structure of any teeth that were damaged by the tooth grinding. Dental restorations such as inlays, onlays, and dental crowns may be used in order to improve overall dental health.
The best dental restoration for your needs will be determined during the consultation process. In general, we want to work conservatively and maintain as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. This is more ideal for your dental health in the long run.
Learn More About the Latest in Dental Care Treatment
If you would like more information about teeth grinding and how it can be addressed, we encourage you to contact our Warsaw dental care center today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make the best possible decisions about your dental health.
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