If you suspect you grind your teeth, whether during sleep or when awake, consult your family dentist in Etobicoke for treatment. Knowing why you grind your teeth and how to stop it is important for your oral health and a good night’s sleep both for you and your partner.
What Is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding or bruxism, is defined by involuntary grinding, clenching or gnawing of the top and bottom teeth together. For some, it is a condition that may come and go throughout their life without damaging the teeth. Some cases of bruxism require medical attention by a dentist to stop the tooth pain and suffering and to prevent severe damage or loss of teeth.
What Happens When You Grind Your Teeth?
When the teeth are forcibly grinding together, damage to the teeth themselves can occur as the enamel becomes worn down. This can lead to the chipping of the teeth or teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out. Grinding can also damage any previous dental work such as crowns, veneers and fillings.
What Are the Signs of Teeth Grinding?
Whether the teeth grinding occurs at night while sleeping or during the day when awake, there are several signs to be aware of. These include, but are not limited to headaches, earaches, temperature sensitivity, aching jaws or teeth and facial pain. Oral issues can extend to fractured teeth, tooth sensitivity and the overall feeling of loose teeth.
Important Tips for Dealing with Teeth Grinding
There is no one direct treatment to stop teeth grinding, but there are several ways that the action of jaw clenching can be significantly reduced. It should be noted that following one or more treatments may reduce the symptoms.
Consume Less Chocolate & Energy Drinks
Studies have proven a correlation between consumption of chocolate, coffee and energy drinks and the disorder known as sleep bruxism. The ingredient caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant which can contribute to jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
Stress management is one of the leading treatments for bruxism. Using proven methods of reducing stress such as meditation, following a regular exercise regime and seeking support have been found to lower the severity of bruxism.
Stop Chewing on Non-Food Items
The constant movement of the jaw attributes to teeth grinding at night. We need to use our jaw to eat nutritious foods to maintain good health, but non-food items should be avoided. The teeth grinding may be reduced by not chewing on gum, pencils, straws or ice. Cutting down on non-essential chewing will retrain the brain into not clenching the jaw both during the day and night.
Ease Up & Do Jaw Exercises Before Sleeping
People with bruxism may be able to alleviate symptoms by following a regular bedtime regime. Performing jaw exercises to loosen the jawline muscles may help reduce the clenching of the jaw at night. Use a warm cloth or gel pack to relax the jaw by placing it on the cheek and jawline for 20 minutes before going to bed. Discuss other jaw exercises with a dentist.
Be Conscious about Teeth Grinding
Most people with bruxism do not associate the headaches, jaw pain and mouth discomfort with this disorder. They may blame it on stress, weather-related headaches and sleeping on their side. Being conscious of having bruxism will help early detection, diagnosis and treatment plans.
What Treatment Can a Dentist Provide for Teeth Grinding?
Any signs of grinding should be brought to the attention of a dentist as soon as possible. With concerns of teeth grinding, a dentist can provide proper treatment to prevent further damage. The treatment options will depend on the underlying cause behind the teeth grinding.
Occlusal Splints or Bite Guards
As teeth grinding while sleeping can be detrimental to the structure of the tooth, one of the more common treatments for teeth grinding is either a bite guard or occlusal splint. These oral devices are designed to form a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent direct contact when a person clenches or grinds their teeth.
For optimal results and protection custom-made guards can be moulded to properly sit over the teeth for a tight fit. These oral appliances are made with durable soft materials for comfort and are typically worn every night.
Dental Correction and Restorations
Teeth grinding damage will require dental correction and restoration with professional restorative treatments. Veneers, crowns, dentures, bridges and implants are designed to repair the tooth and protect it from further damage as well as correct the alignment of the teeth.
During the search for treatment options, dental patients may inquire “can teeth grinding be cured” or “is teeth grinding a deficiency”? The answer to these questions depends on the complexity of the issue and the patient.
To help reduce teeth grinding, there are medications that may be used to treat the cause of bruxism (e.g., anxiety). Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety prescriptions may help lower a patient’s emotional stress, especially during sleep. Muscle relaxants and Botox injections are other prescribed methods to help reduce teeth grinding. This type of solution should be co-ordinated with the patient’s GP medical doctor or physician.
Looking for a Family Dentist in Etobicoke for Teeth Grinding Treatment?
At Princeview Dental Group, we offer a variety of dental services to help you manage your teeth grinding issues. For more than 320 years, our friendly staff have been providing excellent dental care for families. These services range from routine checkups, dental cleanings, dental restorations and emergency services. Contact us today at (416) 231-4562 for a personal consultation to begin your customized dental plan.