Do you grind your teeth?
Teeth grinding can lead to complex dental problems including gum disease and tooth loss. It is important to correctly diagnose the underlying cause of teeth grinding to bring your occlusal system back into balance.
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, can be a common sign of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Commonly called TMJ, it frequently goes unnoticed until it causes damage to your teeth, or painful symptoms begin to arise. Most patients grind their teeth during sleep and are unaware that they are doing so in many cases.
Dr. Thompson is a local Greeley dentist with advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders. We work with patients on an individual basis to address all dental concerns, symptoms, identify the root cause and create personalized treatment plans for lasting results.
Addressing teeth grinding as soon as possible is important and can help avoid permanent damage to the teeth and gums.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
There are several reasons for teeth grinding and jaw clenching and identifying the root cause of your dental concerns is the key to the best possible outcome and improved long term oral health. Dr. Thompson will evaluate all aspects of your occlusal system which includes the teeth, gums and jaw joints. The function and fit of your bite is an important element of your oral health and can contribute to a bite problem such as TMJ.
Common factors that can contribute to teeth grinding include:
- Stress: stress can often lead to tightening of the jaw muscles, jaw clenching and teeth grinding. If this is the main cause of your concerns, changes in lifestyle habits and relaxation techniques may be the solution to your dental problem.
- Maloccusion: crooked teeth and structural abnormalities in the jaw can lead to teeth grinding. This is often because the teeth are not making proper contact when biting and muscle tension is created in the jaw joints.
How is Teeth Grinding Treated?
There are several types of treatment options for patients who grind their teeth. Treatment for teeth grinding will vary from patient-to-patient, depending on the cause and condition of your oral health. Dr. Thompson will recommend appropriate dental treatment to repair any damage that may have occurred and to address your symptoms. The most conservative treatment approach is the use of a custom mouthguard to reposition the jaw and minimize teeth grinding. Dr. Thompson will take the time with each patient to create a personalized plan of TMJ therapy that is best suited to their dental health issues.
- Splint therapy/night guard: this is a conservative avenue of treatment that is worn at night to prevent tooth grinding.
- Orthodontics: Dr. Thompson may suggest the use of braces to properly align the teeth.
- Bite equilibration: bite correction therapy will involve subtle adjustments to the teeth to restore balance in the bite.
For more complex cases, or situations where teeth are damaged, we may recommend a restorative procedure to bring the bite back into proper alignment and prevent teeth grinding and its effects. Resolving teeth grinding will improve your dental health and your daily quality of life if you have been suffering from discomfort or difficulty chewing. The goal of your treatment is to restore and maintain your oral health.