Teeth grinding, known clinically as bruxism, is the unconscious clenching or grating of the teeth which is often the result of an imbalance in the bite or TMJ-related disorder. Most people grind their teeth occasionally due to stress or anxiety, but when this occurs on a regular basis, it can cause significant damage to your dental health. A restorative dentist in Dallas, Dr. Huckin can provide solutions to reduce the issues caused by teeth grinding and restore any damage that has already been done to your smile.
Am I Grinding My Teeth?
It can be difficult to tell if you have been grinding your teeth, especially if you are doing it while you are sleeping. Often, people do not know they have been grinding their teeth until tooth damage has already occurred. This is why we recommend scheduling regular dental exams every 6 months. When you visit our office for an exam, Dr. Huckin looks for the common signs of teeth grinding, which include:
- Worn down teeth that have been flattened by teeth grinding
- Chipped, cracked teeth caused by the pressure that teeth grinding places on biting surfaces
- Teeth shifting or a change in your bite patterns
- Clicking or popping jaws when chewing due to increased muscle tension
Teeth grinding can also cause soreness in your jaw, shoulders, and neck which is especially noticeable in the morning. Additionally, you may experience ringing in your ears. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to the loosening or loss of teeth. This makes it especially important to seek treatment if you suspect you’ve been grinding your teeth.
Teeth Grinding Treatment in Dallas
Dr. Huckin will evaluate your teeth for any signs of damage. He will also try to determine the underlying cause of your bruxism, including a TMJ disorder. Together, you will discuss your treatment plan which often includes the use of a night guard.
Our custom-made night guards are oral appliances that are worn only at night to allow the jaw to reposition and reduce any muscle tension and associated pain. Other treatments can include attending counseling, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants.
We’ll work with you to make sure you get the right combination of treatments to work for you. Oral appliance therapy is one of the best options for treatment. Most treatment plans include this to take care of teeth grinding overnight. However, many people still have issues throughout the day. This is when the other forms of therapy come into play. We’ll discuss your goals and your budget to see which options work best for you.
It does sometimes take a trial and error process to find something that completely works. We can give you exercises to try that can help to loosen the muscles and tendons in that area. It’s a process to manage this issue and make sure we’re making sure you’re free of pain.
If you have any of the above signs of teeth grinding, make an appointment. We’ll do a full evaluation to determine the best course of action for you. Call us or schedule an appointment online.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Is teeth grinding damage permanent?
Minor teeth grinding may not require treatment, however major or regular grinding needs to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent long-term oral, jaw, or tooth damage.
What triggers teeth grinding?
Stress and anxiety are commonly known to trigger teeth grinding. An underlying issue such as sleep apnea may also cause teeth grinding to worsen. Certain medications may also cause teeth grinding.
Is teeth grinding genetic?
There is compelling evidence that teeth grinding is inherited, as families often have a history of tooth grinding. Studies show that high hormone levels may also correlate to bruxism symptoms.
What deficiency causes grinding of teeth?
Bruxism has been associated with both calcium and magnesium deficiencies, so eating a well balanced diet is a great way to combat symptoms. To get the vitamins you need, you can also take supplements.
How common is teeth grinding?
Teeth grinding is a fairly common habit. It affects about 33% of adults during the daytime and about 10% at night. Habitual teeth grinding can cause serious damage if not treated and prevented. If you think that you may be grinding your teeth, call our office to schedule an appointment! We can help diagnose and treat any issues you may have.