Teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, is a common condition. Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with the condition each year. You may clench your teeth when nervous or upset or in your sleep. Occasional teeth grinding isn’t considered a concern. However, when it frequently occurs, grinding of teeth can cause other problems. The specialty dental team at Lovett Dental Piney Point can help with teeth grinding.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Most people who have bruxism are teeth grinding in their sleep. It’s typical to not be aware of the problem unless you are aware of the symptoms. Some symptoms can be spotted during a dental exam, while others are noticed by the person themselves.
The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- Teeth grinding headache
- Sore jaw, particularly upon waking
- Loved one notices the person grinding teeth in their sleep
- Tender jaws during a dental exam
- Excessive tooth wear
Symptoms Noticed at Home
The most widely reported symptom is teeth grinding headache. This can include pain in the sinuses, temples, and ears. If the person is prone to migraines, bruxism can bring on migraine attacks as well. Pain is often worst in the morning with this type of headache.
Jaws can also become sore. This is because the grinding of teeth puts pressure on the jaws. Over time, this causes pain and soreness. You may have noticed this if you have tightly clenched your teeth as a response to anger or pain.
Lastly, loved ones are often the first to notice, particularly if they are teeth grinding in sleep. The loved one may hear or see the person grinding their teeth while they are asleep and unaware.
Symptoms Noticed by a Lovett Dental Piney Point Dentist
The key sign of bruxism in a dental exam is worn teeth. Teeth can become worn for many reasons, including age, eating hard foods, and weakened teeth, but grinding is often the culprit. If it occurs along with sore jaws or reports of headaches, it is most likely caused by the grinding of teeth.
What Causes Grinding of Teeth?
There are several potential causes for the grinding of teeth. If it occurs when you are awake, it can be caused by stress and anxiety.
Teeth grinding in sleep is known as sleep bruxism. It is a sleep movement disorder. It often occurs with other sleep movement disorders like sleep apnea, which causes snoring and pauses in breathing. It can also be caused by structural issues, including missing or broken teeth, an abnormal bite, and jaw misalignment.
Damage Caused by Teeth Grinding
If left untreated, grinding can damage your teeth over time. This can cause teeth to break, become loose, or fall out. Chronic grinding can also cause severe tooth wear, which wears your teeth down to nubs. If you have dentures or implants, grinding can damage them as well. Tooth loss due to grinding of teeth is often treated with dentures, bridges, or implants.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
The good news is there are treatments for grinding your teeth. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. If it’s caused by sleep apnea, treating apnea should resolve it. If it’s caused by structural abnormalities, correcting the abnormality is the best treatment. If it occurs during the day, you may need to lower your stress and anxiety levels.
In addition to treating underlying conditions, a mouthguard can prevent further damage to your teeth from grinding. You may also find it helpful to place a warm compress on your jaw before sleep to relax your jaw muscles. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine may reduce grinding as well.
Receive Teeth Grinding Treatment Now at Lovett Dental Piney Point
At Lovett Dental Piney Point in Texas, we offer a full range of dental services. If you are experiencing grinding of teeth, we will perform an exam to determine if you have bruxism. We will also discuss your underlying conditions and treatment options. Contact us today at 832.430.7364 to make an appointment.