Solve teeth grinding and save your smile with help from your Brentwood Dentist
Teeth grinding, formally called bruxism, is something that most people probably do every now and then. We may find ourselves clenching our jaw or grinding our teeth when we feel tense and anxious under stress. Most often, this activity occurs at night, while we sleep. As such, it can be difficult to know if you engage in something that could harm your teeth and oral health.
Discovery is the important first step in correcting bruxism
Without a bed partner to tell you if you grind your teeth while you sleep, it may seem you will never know whether you do this. There are signs, however, that may alert you to a problem. Often, people who grind or clench at night will experience a dull, persistent headache while awake. Waking with, or feeling, perpetual tightness or discomfort in the jaw may also indicate grinding is taking place during sleeping hours. Your dentist can also identify signs of bruxism during regular dental examinations. If you suspect you may grind your teeth at night, have your dentist check your jaw for tenderness and your teeth for abnormalities.
Why does it matter?
Tooth grinding can have serious consequences if not properly treated. The ongoing stress to teeth can wear them down to such an extent that the smile is negatively impacted. Bruxism also places a great deal of pressure on the various oral structures that support teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss or TMJ disorder, both of which require specific treatment. TMJ disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joints, located at the back of the jaw, become dysfunctional. Symptoms of this condition can be quite uncomfortable, including jaw pain, limited range of motion, persistent headaches, and popping when the jaw opens and closes.
How to address teeth grinding
In our Brentwood dental practice, we offer comfortable solutions to teeth grinding. Care begins with a thorough dental examination in which the jaw and teeth are carefully evaluated. Dr. Alkhoury designs treatment around the cause or causes of bruxism. For instance, a patient may grind his or her teeth excessively due to an imbalanced bite, which can be corrected with customized orthodontic treatment. The effects of bruxism can also be decreased with an oral appliance designed to reduce the stress on the jaws and teeth. This appliance fits comfortably to the patient's dentition and it is worn only during sleeping hours.
Teeth grinding can have a large impact on your oral health and general wellbeing. To address this problem, contact Brentwood Family Dental for gentle, effective care.
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