Why Do I Grind My Teeth and What Can I Do to Protect My Smile?

When under stress or other pressures, many children and adult may unknowingly clench and grind their teeth. However, patients who have a routine problem with clenching and grinding may want to seek a proper diagnosis of their condition and discuss treatment solutions. Chronic clenching and grinding is often diagnosed as a condition called bruxism. Addressing bruxism early and intervening with treatment can significantly reduce the damage that can be caused.

The causes of teeth grinding

There are many reasons why a patient in Bismarck and Garrison, ND may clench or grind their teeth. Patients with high anxiety may notice that bruxism become more persistent at times of high stress. Some may experience bruxism due to an untreated condition such as TMJ disorder, or TMD. Whatever the cause, the damage resulting from this condition can be devastating to the teeth. Tooth enamel can be worn down, restorations may crack or become lost, and bite misalignment and imbalance may start.

When should I be concerned about bruxism?

Occasional clenching and grinding may be troublesome but often doesn’t affect the smile. However, more chronic and routine clenching and grinding can be problematic. Patients who notice the early warning signs of bruxism, including neck and shoulder aches, jaw pain, and headaches, will want to speak to their dental professional about their condition. These warning signs should not be taken lightly, since ignoring them can cause serious damage and risk to your smile’s appearance and health. Working with a dentist for treatment is highly encouraged.

How do I treat bruxism?

First and foremost, patients who clench and grind due to stress may need to find ways to relax their body and mind through exercise, meditation, or even a career change. Those who are unable to manage their stress and continue to experience problems may want to ask their dentist about a mouthguard. Custom-made oral appliances can be fabricated for patients with bruxism. These oral appliances are made of strong, medical-grade plastics that can cushion the teeth and protect them from clenching and grinding, reducing damage and many of the side effects that come with bruxism. Patients may also want to ask about bite alignment, balance, and neuromuscular conditions such as TMJ and TMD which may also be improved with appliances and other dental treatments.

Do you grind your teeth?

Are you interested in seeking a solution that can protect your smile and reduce unwanted tension in the jaw joints? Contact the team at Deeter Dental Group today to learn more about wearing specialized mouth guards for bruxism. We have two convenient office locations in the areas of Bismarck and Garrison, ND.

Posted in: TMJ/Neuromuscular Dentistry

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