Teeth grinding and clenching, especially at night, are common problems. Though many consider these issues to be more of a nuisance than a serious problem, teeth grinding and clenching can result in damage to the teeth as well as uncomfortable issues with the temporomandibular joint.
Causes of Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Teeth grinding and clenching can occur as a symptom of a variety of other underlying conditions, including:
- Bite misalignment
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
Teeth grinding that wakes you up at night, disturbs your partner, or causes visible chipping and erosion to the teeth should always be brought to the attention of a dentist. Left untreated, teeth grinding can cause extensive damage to your teeth.
Treating Teeth Grinding and Clenching
One common treatment for teeth grinding is a dental orthotic, worn at night to prevent grinding. These mouthpieces are custom made to fit your mouth. Store-bought mouthpieces are readily available, but will not provide the custom fit of an orthotic provided by your dentist. Because teeth grinding can occur as a symptom of misalignment, it is important to use a mouthpiece that will not interfere with your natural bite.
Other treatment can include orthodontic treatment such as braces or a similar alternative. If your teeth grinding occurs as a result of misalignment, this treatment will move your teeth into their proper position, reducing the likelihood that you will grind or clench your teeth. This treatment can also relieve TMD, which can cause teeth grinding.
If teeth grinding and clenching occurs as a side effect of stress, stress management and stress relief techniques can be highly effective in reducing or eliminating this behavior. Some stress relief techniques might include meditation or massage.
The root cause of your teeth grinding will determine the best treatment to pursue. If you are searching for a dentist near Bismarck and would like to find out the best way to end your habitual teeth grinding, please call our office at 701-255-2467 to schedule a consultation.