Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which you clench the biting surfaces of the teeth. Patients may experience bruxism during sleep or while they are awake. In most cases, bruxism occurs during sleep, so most patients don’t realize they grind their teeth until they visit the dentist.
In some cases, when bruxism is left untreated, it can lead to a bite disorder, jaw complication, or other problems. Early intervention and education is the key to treating tooth grinding.
How Do I Know If I Grind My Teeth?
In many cases, most patients don’t know they grind their teeth until they visit a trusted dentist. Restorative dentists Greenway Dental Care is routinely checking for signs of teeth grinding during your regular dental exam.
During your examination, our team checks for these key signs of teeth grinding:
- Worn Teeth: Teeth that are uneven, riddled, or broken are signs of teeth grinding. When the biting forces of the teeth grind together, it can damage the tooth enamel and result in worn teeth.
- Changes in Your Bite: If teeth grinding is left untreated, it can affect the way your teeth come together, also known as your bite.
- Tooth Damage: Teeth grinding weakens the enamel, which makes your teeth more susceptible to cracks, fractures, and chips.
The Causes of Tooth Grinding
Many patients believe tooth grinding is only caused by stress and anxiety. While stress and anxiety are common causes for teeth grinding, there are many other causes for teeth grinding, including sleep apnea.
Our team can work with you to determine the underlying cause of tooth grinding and recommend a solution that is right for you.
- Certain types of medications
- Certain medical conditions
- TMJ disorder
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
The symptoms of tooth grinding may vary from patient to patient. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you may want to schedule an appointment at Greenway Dental Care.
- Tooth sensitivity
- Fracture, loose, or chipped teeth
- Facial pain and tension
- Tooth wear
- Soreness or pain in the jaw and neck
- Lockjaw or tight jaw muscles
- Clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth
- Dull headache
Treatment Options For Teeth Grinding
At Greenway Dental Care we build comprehensive treatment plans tailored to your unique needs. Greenway Dental Care will evaluate the condition of your teeth and recommend the most appropriate solution for you.
The type of treatment you receive will depend on the underlying cause of tooth grinding.
- Mouthguards and splints: A custom mouthguard or splint can prevent the biting surfaces of the teeth from coming together and can reposition the jaw, so it relaxes in a natural position.
- Orthodontics: Corrected crooked or misaligned teeth can help reduce the risk of tooth grinding. We offer ClearCorrect clear aligners for patients who want to achieve a straighter smile.
- Restorative Dentistry Treatment: Depending on the extent of damage, we may recommend dental crowns, dental bonding, or implants to restore your smile.
Schedule An Appointment
Are you experiencing facial pain or recurring headaches? You may want to schedule a dental appointment to determine if you grind your teeth. At Greenway Dental Care, we work with patients of all ages to help improve their dental health. We offer comprehensive solutions for patients with TMJ and other types of bite disorders. Visit our Fayetteville dentist office to explore your options. To schedule an appointment, call (479) 217-3178 or request an appointment online.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Is it normal for my child to grind his teeth?
Bruxism is very common in babies and especially young children. When babies are teething, it can very painful. Some infants may grind their teeth in response to that pain. Grinding in young children is typically not a cause for concern. Most children will outgrow it with no permanent damage. However, if your child is grinding there teeth due to improper alignment, we recommend addressing that.
How much damage can teeth grinding really cause?
If the condition is completely ignored, the end result could be as extreme as complete tooth loss. Repetitive grinding will slowly wear down the enamel on your teeth, lead to chips and cracks in your teeth and leave your teeth vulnerable to decay. Once the teeth have a significant amount of decay, restorative treatments are they only way to save the tooth. The best way to save your teeth is seek treatment from a dentist as soon as possible.
How do misaligned teeth cause grinding?
If your upper and lower teeth do not fit together correctly, this may promote jaw clenching and teeth grinding. This can lead to enamel wear as well as tooth damage which will just make the fit even worse. If your grinding is caused by misalignment, it is an easy fix! Greenway Dental Care offers ClearCorrect clear aligners to discreetly straighten teeth and cure your teeth grinding.