Teeth grinding, a condition known as bruxism, affects millions of people. Yet, because most teeth grinding happens at night while asleep, many people may not be aware they suffer from this condition. In some cases, teeth grinding is loud enough to hear, especially by your sleeping partner.
Other signs may include a dull headache or sore jaw when you wake. If left untreated, teeth grinding can cause many complex dental problems and even lead to tooth loss. Dr. Conover can often diagnose teeth grinding with a simple inspection of the teeth and surrounding tissues.
What Causes Teeth Grinding
- Stress or anxiety
- Sleep disorders
- Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
- Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Disease
Teeth Grinding Before & After Photos
Extensive teeth grinding, when left untreated, can lead to significant tooth wear or worn down teeth. Dr. Conover has worked with patients that have chronic bruxism. After any cosmetic or restorative treatment to address damage, Dr. Conover creates a custom night guard to help protect new dental restorations from future wear and grinding.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
There are a few at-home treatments for teeth grinding. These include: avoiding caffeine, and alcohol, avoiding chewing on anything that is not food, taking notice when you grind during the day and stopping, and relaxing your jaw at night by holding a warm washcloth to your jaw.
If you are a serious teeth grinder, these remedies might not be enough. Stress is most likely the number one factor for your nightly grinding. In addition to your dental treatments, you should practice relaxation methods of your choice such yoga or daily exercise.
It is important that you take the necessary steps to reduce stress and anxiety in their life to reduce the occurrences of teeth grinding.
Dr. Conover can fit a plastic guard to wear over your teeth while you sleep to align the teeth and prevent damaging your teeth and dental restorations. Night guards are simple, quick ways to minimize the effects of grinding. After your worn-down teeth are corrected, it is very important to wear your night guard every night. In doing this, you are protecting your new dental restorations to ensure longevity.
Bite Correction Procedures
In some cases, you may need a bite correction procedure to stop teeth grinding. Dr. Conover may reshape the teeth by filing them down or applying porcelain veneers or dental crowns, to bring them into proper alignment. Other corrective measures may include orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign.
Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry to Repair Damage
Teeth grinding can cause serious damage to your teeth and should addressed as soon as possible. Doing this every night can leave teeth worn, chipped or broken and even affect the health of the gums. Repairing your teeth is imperative to your oral health and can give you back a healthy, functional smile.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
What to do to reduce grinding teeth?
The best way to reduce teeth grinding is to reduce stress. Stress is one of the leading causes in teeth grinding. Patients may also practice better sleeping habits and get their bodies on a regular sleep schedule. We also recommend limiting caffeine intake to reduce grinding.
How can I stop grinding my teeth naturally?
The best way to stop grinding your teeth naturally is to stretch your jaw and facial muscles. You may also choose to apply a warm compress to your jaw to relax any muscular tension. Eating foods with lots of magnesium and drinking herbal teas may also help.
What vitamins help prevent teeth grinding?
B complex vitamins have been shown to help prevent teeth grinding. Studies have shown that vitamin B5 has had the greatest success in preventing teeth grinding.
How damaging is teeth grinding?
Bruxism can cause tooth enamel to wear away, resulting in an increase in dental sensitivity. Stress and strain from grinding can cause teeth to break down, chip, or loosen. Damage to an existing filling, crown or bridge work is a risk when you grind your teeth.
Can teeth grinding cause gum disease?
Periodontal disease can be made worse by bruxism, which increases gum susceptibility. The force of clenching and grinding can damage the teeth’s supporting tissues.
Dr. Conover can use dental crowns, dental veneers, or cosmetic bonding to repair your teeth. Dr. Conover is welcoming new and out of town patients. Call us at (215) 395-6076, or schedule a consultation online.