Bruxism: Causes and Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Bruxism, a condition in which you unconsciously grind or gnash your teeth and clench your jaw, can cause serious dental damage. However, most people with bruxism are completely unaware of the problem until they visit their dentist. Wearing a teeth grinding guard at night can help to prevent damage from bruxism, since the majority of teeth grinding happens during sleep. If you suffer from bruxism, Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry in Glendale can help! We will fit you with a custom mouth guard and recommend other treatments as necessary.
Symptoms of Bruxism
You might not be aware that the symptoms you’ve been experiencing are related to bruxism until your dentist spots the signs during an examination. Many people grind their teeth unconsciously from time to time while they are awake, but the majority of teeth grinding happens while they sleep. Bruxism causes enamel damage, breakage, and even tooth loss in severe cases. It also affects your health in other ways—it causes headaches, sleep loss, jaw disorders like TMJ, arthritis, and other problems.
Symptoms of bruxism include:
- teeth grinding
- dull headaches
- sore jaw, earaches, or facial pain
- trouble sleeping
Causes of Bruxism
The exact cause of bruxism is still unclear, however, several factors have known correlations. Sometimes, an auto arousal causes chewing responses during sleep. If you snore, you might also have bruxism. Sleep apnea might trigger the jaw to clench and grind in order to keep airways clear. Teeth grinding while awake can be a side effect of stress or anxiety. An abnormal bite or crooked teeth can cause or complicate bruxism as well.
Known complications include:
- anxiety and stress
- sleep apnea
- substances such as tobacco, caffeine, or alcohol
- abnormal bite, crooked teeth, or misaligned jaw
Treatment for Bruxism
Treatment for bruxism will depend on the cause, but night guards can help in most cases. Teeth grinding guards cushion your teeth and ease the pressure on your jaw while you sleep. They protect your teeth from damage and also relieve the pain and headaches caused by bruxism. At Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we can recommend the most comfortable, most effective mouth guards and even fit you for a custom guard.
When an abnormal bite or crooked teeth are causing bruxism, Invisalign can correct the problem. Invisalign is a gentle, discreet method for straightening teeth using a series of plastic aligners. We take digital scans of your teeth with our iTero Element scanner and then use specialized software to design a series of aligners specifically for you. To find out whether Invisalign is right for you, contact Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Bruxism is most common in people under the age of 18, and teeth grinding guards can help. If you or your child has been experiencing symptoms of bruxism, make an appointment with the friendly dentists at Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry. With diagnosis and treatment, you can find relief from the side effects of bruxism and prevent damage to your teeth. Call us at 623-471-1498 or visit our website to request an appointment today.