Bruxism, or teeth grinding effects millions of people. As a condition that generally occurs during sleep, it can be difficult to diagnose. Teeth grinding causes a range of oral health concerns and left untreated can begin to effect the quality of your life. Grinding or clenching teeth can lead to complex TMJ concerns. Dr. David Weinstock is highly trained and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of teeth grinding.
Teeth Grinding Causes
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching is most often caused by stress and anxiety. Many other conditions can also lead to bruxism. Sleep disorders, abnormal bites, missing teeth and crooked teeth can also cause a person to grind their teeth. It may also be associated with alcohol and tobacco use and is often seen in people with Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease.
Bruxism can cause a lot of damage to your teeth, gums and jaw. The dangers of teeth grinding are actually extensive and should be treated as soon as it is noticed. Grinding teeth can also cause chipping, wear and cracking to otherwise healthy teeth, compromising your oral health. On the most extreme end, teeth grinding can cause damage to the bone structure of the jaw and even severe tooth damage or loss.
What are the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding?
While many people may not be aware they grind their teeth since it happens while they sleep, a dentist will be able to diagnose teeth grinding. During a simple examination of your teeth with Dr. Weinstock he will be able to see the damage created from the grinding. If you experience frequent headaches, fatigue, or jaw pain, you may grind your teeth. Commonly patients who grind their teeth feel tension or soreness in their necks and jaw daily. This pain can become debilitating.
- Worn teeth
- Dull or abraded tooth enamel
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Broken fillings and/or crowns
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
Treatment options for Teeth Grinding in Philadelphia, PA
While there is never a one size fits all treatment option for any dental health concerns, Dr. Weinstock may recommend an oral sleep guard appliance. A discreet and comfortable device, you oral sleep appliance will be custom fabricated to fit your teeth and gums for optimal comfort and protection. Your night guard will help prevent your teeth from grinding while you sleep for relief from associated symptoms. The night guard also helps protect your teeth from further wear or damage.
Once the teeth grinding causes have been treated with a sleep device, Dr. Weinstock will focus on repairing the damaged caused by the grinding. Treatments you may need include dental crowns, porcelain veneers, cosmetic bonding or TMJ therapy.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Why do people grind their teeth?
The main reason that people grind their teeth is that it is a physical way to relieve built-up stress involuntarily. Most people who grind their teeth lead a very stressful lifestyle and teeth grinding becomes a habit. Many people grind their teeth while they are sleeping. This can be caused by depression, or an excess consumption of caffeine or tobacco.
What are the symptoms of teeth grinding?
Many patients experience headaches as a result of teeth grinding. Patients may also feel neck pain or tightness, TMJ jaw pain, and insomnia. If you notice that the surface of your teeth is worn down or chipped, it is a good idea to see your dentist and be evaluated for what may be the cause.
Why is teeth grinding so harmful?
Teeth grinding is known to cause serious damage to one’s oral health. Exerting constant or consistent force against the surface of teeth wears them down quickly and will make it difficult to do simple tasks in the future. Speaking, eating, and sleeping are all important factors of one’s life that are directly impacted by teeth grinding.
How can you stop teeth grinding?
In order to stop teeth grinding, patients must identify the source. If stress is causing a patient to grind their teeth, then they must identify what exactly is causing them stress and solve that issue first. In most cases once the source of the problem is solved, the surrounding issues are fixed as well. Wearing a mouthguard to sleep helps protect teeth against tooth grinding. Although, it doesn’t necessarily stop patients from the physical action of grinding their teeth, it protects teeth from the harm that may be caused by it.
Schedule A Dental Exam with our Dentist in Philadelphia, PA
If you have been told, or suspect you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep or clenching your jaw, contact our Philadelphia, PA dentist office to find relief. Dr. Weinstock will conduct a thorough oral health exam and analyze your bite function to determine the best route of treatment for your optimal oral health.