Do you experience headaches, jaw pain, or have teeth that appear worn or damaged?
Many adults grind their teeth unknowingly during sleep or when under stress. It is even common for athletes during intense play. For most, it is a natural reaction to stress, but can also be a result of a more serious dental condition.
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. Do you experience the following 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
Dr. Rafat and Dr. Izadi have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of teeth grinding. Addressing bruxism is important to avoid eventual damage to your teeth and gums and tooth loss.
Drs. Rafat and Izadi look for the common signs of teeth grinding during routine dental care visits. Tell-tale signs of teeth grinding are worn teeth and damage to the soft tissues in your mouth. Our dentists will evaluate the function and position of your bite to determine the cause of your bruxism and to recommend the most suitable treatment options. Learn about the most common treatment options for bruxism below.
Mouthguards or night guards
The most conservative and often recommended treatment for teeth grinding is the use of a custom oral appliance, night guard, or mouthguard. Made to fit snugly over the teeth, an oral appliance is designed to facilitate natural jaw position and tooth contact.
The type of oral appliance you receive depends on the severity of your teeth grinding habits and the current state of your oral health.
To address tooth damage, worn teeth, or to make adjustments in how they come into contact when biting down, we may use restorative dental procedures. Restorative dentistry options may include tooth bonding, dental crowns, dental bridges, or tooth fillings.
Braces may be considered necessary if the malocclusion is the cause of your teeth grinding and related bite problems. Severely crooked teeth can contribute to bad teeth grinding habits, so sometimes an orthodontic plan is necessary to save your teeth from further damage.
After a thorough evaluation, we will create a plan of treatment that can provide comfortable lasting results, and restore your oral health. The goal of your treatment is to relieve discomfort, align the bite if needed, and to stop bruxism at the source. A healthy, stable bite will support your dental health for the long run and provide a beautiful, comfortable smile.