Many people grind their teeth, especially at night. The damage this unconscious habit causes can lead to serious problems with your teeth, no matter how diligent your oral hygiene might be. If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about treatment so you can prevent the long-term issues associated with this common problem.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can occur for a variety of reasons. Many people grind their teeth out of stress or tension. Sometimes misalignment can lead to grinding. Grinding can also occur because of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ) or can cause TMD to develop or worsen. In short, grinding can occur for a number of reasons, and can be a symptom of an underlying chronic problem.
Symptoms of grinding shouldn’t be ignored, because long-term teeth grinding can cause irreparable damage to your teeth. It can even lead to enough damage that your teeth might have to be removed. Signs you might be grinding your teeth include:
- Noticeable wear on chewing surfaces
- Chips along the edges of the teeth
- Grinding noise while you are sleeping
- Jaw discomfort or persistent headaches
If you habitually grind your teeth, you should talk to our dentist about diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Treatment can help reduce the damage caused by grinding or can help you take steps to eliminate your tendency to grind your teeth. One common treatment is mouthguards. A mouthguard, worn at night, can greatly reduce the amount of damage you can do to your teeth while you’re sleeping. The mouthguard is custom made so it fits perfectly over your teeth and is comfortable to wear.
If your grinding occurs due to stress, relaxation techniques such as meditation can be a great help. Problems with misalignment that lead to teeth grinding can be addressed with orthodontic treatment. Once the teeth are in proper alignment, you’re likely to grind less and possibly stop altogether. Likewise, TMJ problems can be addressed in various ways to both correct the alignment of the jaw and reduce or eliminate habitual grinding.
Start resting soundly and call the office of Dr. Michael Lassle today to find a treatment option!