July 14, 2016
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition that affects roughly 20 percent of adults. However, as much as 80 percent of those with the condition are unaware they grind their teeth. While bruxism may not seem like a very big problem, untreated grinding of the teeth will cause serious damage and discomfort. In fact, overtime, the teeth may actually become loose and fall out due to persistent grinding. To stop the damaging effects of bruxism, the underlying cause of the condition must first be addressed. As a dentist in Midwest City, we offer diagnosis and treatment for bruxism.
What Causes Bruxism?
While it is considered to be perfectly normal for people to grind or clench their teeth from time to time, excessive grinding and clenching is not normal. Constant grinding and clenching will actually harm the teeth and can lead to various oral health complications. Often, the underlying cause of bruxism is due to anxiety or stress. However, in some cases, the grinding can also be caused from a poor bite, misaligned teeth, a sleep disorder or disorders of the temporomandibular joint.
Often, many people are unaware they grind their teeth until they begin to notice signs of the condition. Those who grind their teeth excessively are likely to begin to experience tooth sensitivity, pain, tenderness and swelling of the mouth or jaw. In some cases, the teeth will begin to become loose. Your dentist may also notice excessive wearing of the teeth.
If you suspect you may have bruxism, you will need to speak with your Midwest City dentist to develop a treatment plan.
How is Bruxism Treated?
The most common and effective treatment for bruxism involves the use of a mouthguard. A custom-made mouthguard from your dentist is worn over the teeth to protect the teeth from damage. In addition, the mouthguard will help to reduce strain and pressure on the teeth. In some cases, an oral appliance that is very similar to a mouthguard can be worn to reposition the jaw to promote better alignment. When the condition is caused from a poor bite or bad tooth alignment, orthodontic treatment may be recommended.
In addition to oral devices from the dentist, there are steps you can take at home to help reduce the occurrence of the grinding. For example, stress relieving exercises are beneficial exercises to help relax the jaw muscles. It is also best to avoid certain foods and drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol as they are linked to intensifying grinding.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
If you suspect you may have a problem with grinding of the teeth, you need to schedule an appointment with Midwest Dental Center. We will perform an evaluation to develop an effective course of treatment. In addition, we will evaluate your teeth and oral health to address any damage that may have resulted from prolonged grinding. With the right care from your dentist and proactive changes at home, you can help prevent and stop the damaging results of grinding.
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