Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a habitual behavior that affects millions of people each night. It happens most often when people sleep and can cause significant jaw pain and inflammation if left untreated. A primary reason for bruxism is an abnormal bite or missing tooth. If someone’s teeth are misaligned or their chewing surfaces are uneven, they can shift into an improper position while asleep. This stresses the muscles involved in biting and chewing, causing them to clench tightly together. Over time, this can lead to tension headaches and sore jaws. Patients can experience broken teeth or a receding gum line in severe cases.
Another reason for teeth grinding is sleep apnea. This is a condition where a person’s breathing stops and starts throughout the night, which can lead to chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea can cause teeth grinding because it causes people to wake up suddenly during the night. When they do, the muscles in their jaw tighten, which can cause tooth grinding.
While the causes of teeth grinding vary from person to person, treatment is still essential. Without proper treatment, it can damage the teeth and jaw muscles and increase a patient’s risk of tooth decay and loss. If you think you might be grinding your teeth at night, then you should visit Smile Design Implant Centers. Our dentist can help fit you with a night guard to prevent you from clenching your jaw while you sleep.
A common approach to managing bruxism is the use of mouthguards or splints. These are custom-made oral appliances that are worn over the teeth during sleep. They help protect the teeth from the grinding forces and can also help alleviate jaw muscle tension. A dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fit mouthguard or splint.
Since stress and anxiety can contribute to teeth grinding, stress management techniques can be beneficial. These may include exercise, relaxation exercises, meditation, counseling, or therapy. Identifying and addressing stress triggers can help reduce bruxism episodes.
Dental correction may be recommended if misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite contribute to bruxism. Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, can help align the teeth and jaws, alleviating the grinding habit.
Visit Smile Design Implant Centers at 748 South Meadows Parkway #A8, Reno, NV 89521, or call (775) 924-1871 to determine the most suitable treatment approach for your specific case of bruxism. Our dentist will assess the underlying causes, evaluate the severity of the condition, and develop a personalized treatment plan to address your needs. Early intervention can help prevent further damage to the teeth and jaws and alleviate the associated symptoms.