Do you experience headaches, jaw pain or have teeth that appear worn or damaged?
Teeth grinding can create complex dental problems over time, and is often the symptom of an underlying bite or TMJ related problem. The key to treatment that is lasting and effective is to identify the cause before treating the symptoms. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding can impact patients of all ages, sometimes going unnoticed until they come in for a visit with us or start to experience common symptoms:
- frequent headaches
- ear pain, ringing in the ears
- jaw pain, tired jaws
- clicking or popping of the jaw joints
- difficulty chewing properly
- irritated gums or insides of the cheek
Teeth grinding also wears down the tooth enamel and can change the surface of the teeth over time. Patients can be at an increased risk for tooth damage, cracked teeth, and even tooth loss. Teeth grinding also increases muscle tension in the jaw joints, or TMJ and can play a role in bite disorders.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Drs. Rafat and Izadi look for the common signs of teeth grinding during routine dental care visits, such as worn teeth and damage to the soft tissues in the mouth. They will evaluate the function and fit of your bite to determine the cause of your bruxism and to recommend the most suitable treatment.
- Mouthguards or night guards: the most conservative and often recommended treatment for teeth grinding is the use of a custom oral appliance or mouthguard. Made to fit snugly over the teeth, a mouthguard is designed to facilitate natural jaw position and tooth contact.
- Restorative dentistry: to address tooth damage, worn teeth or to make adjustments in how they come into contact when biting down, we may use tooth bonding, dental crowns or other restorative dental procedures.
- Orthodontics: braces may be considered necessary if malocclusion is the cause of your teeth grinding and related bite problems.
The goal of your treatment is to relieve discomfort, align the bite if needed and to stop bruxism. A healthy, stable bite will support your dental health for the long run and provide a beautiful, comfortable smile.