Teeth grinding, more formally known as bruxism, is far more common than you might imagine among both children and adults. And while it most commonly happens at night, it can happen during the day, too. Unfortunately, if left alone, grinding teeth can lead to negative impacts on oral health.
Finding the appropriate treatment for bruxism is important for a healthy mouth - and healthy life.
Signs of Grinding Teeth
Knowing whether or not you grind your teeth can be difficult to determine - especially for adults. Unless you are a parent who is nearby a sleeping child to hear the grinding as it happens or you are an adult who sleeps next to a spouse or partner, you may not even realize that teeth grinding is an issue.
Just in case, here are some tell-tale signs that it is:
- Facial pain, jaw pain
- Tense facial muscles
- Painful, cracked, chipped teeth
- Worn-down teeth
- Loose teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gum recession.
As we said, without treatment, teeth grinding can lead to some health issues. It may negatively impact your oral health as well as your overall health. For instance, not sleeping well due to the grinding or the pain can bring about a lot of health concerns, including memory issues, mood changes, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, weight gain, and more.
If you have any of these symptoms or believe you could be a teeth grinder, it is important to consult with your dental team.
Getting to the Bottom of Your Teeth Grinding
If you want to know how to stop something - such as grinding your teeth - then it is important to determine what is causing it by getting to the bottom of it. After all, teeth grinding doesn’t happen only because of one reason, but rather a multitude of things can contribute to it.
A few of the most common things that contribute to teeth grinding are:
- Poor sleep habits
- High levels of stress and/or anxiety
- Tobacco use and alcohol consumption
- Some medications can lead to teeth grinding as a side effect
- Sleep apnea
Treating Teeth Grinding
After determining the reason for your grinding, your dentist has tools and procedures that can be done to treat the issue - and stop the bruxism. A thorough examination by your dentist will help determine the best approach.
There are several ways in which teeth grinding can be treated. These include:
Mouth Guards. There are mouth guards designed to absorb the force of your bite (which is much greater when food is not a buffer). This may not stop the grinding, but it will greatly reduce the damage.
Medicine. For those who grind a lot due to stress or anxiety, certain medications can be prescribed to reduce the tendency to grind. These medicines can also reduce the pain.
Minimizing Stress. Stress can lead to a lot of tension within the body -- and can easily lead to teeth grinding. Learning ways to minimize stress is crucial
Bite Adjustment. If your bite is off or out of alignment, your dentist may determine that an adjustment may actually reduce the grinding. The more formal term for this is occlusal adjustment and it is the one treatment method that yields the greatest - long-lasting - results. Why? Because it gets to the bottom of the problem.
Your dentist will review your teeth, your bite, and your overall grinding situation and determine the best method for treatment.
Teeth Grinding Treatment at Scarsdale Dental Group
If you are looking for a dental team that is experienced and skilled in addressing all needs and treatment associated with teeth grinding, look no further than Scarsdale Dental Group. We’ve successfully served the Westchester and surrounding community for over 70 years.