Teeth grinding, more formally known as bruxism, is incredibly common. And while it is not unusual to clench or grind your teeth every now and then, doing so regularly can put your oral health in danger.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition that involves the chronic grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw, putting unnecessary pressure on them. For some, this happens throughout the day and can be triggered by stress and high levels of focus or concentration. For others, bruxism occurs at night without even realizing it.
It seems harmless, but grinding and clenching actually hurt your oral health. If left untreated, it can:
- Cause cracks or fractures of the teeth
- Wear down the tooth’s enamel
- Lead to periodontal disease
- Impact the muscle and joints of the jaw
The longer bruxism is allowed to occur, the greater the risk of damage.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
Since it is tough to know for sure if you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night, it is important to know the signs to look out for. The following are some of the most common symptoms:
- Sensitive teeth
- Facial pain
- Worn down teeth
- Jaw pain
- Chipped teeth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to reach out to your dentist. This is the only way to ensure you will be able to protect your oral health before too much damage occurs.
How Do You Stop Grinding Your Teeth?
To stop grinding your teeth, you are going to need to seek out the help of an experienced dentist - preferably one who has a lot of experience with sleep disorders, TMJ pain, and so forth.
The treatment itself is rather simple. Occlusal splints are also referred to as night guards and can be worn to prevent you from grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw throughout the night. This splint will help to relax the jaw muscles so this does not happen.
Night guards are often worn at night, hence their name. But for those who find themselves grinding and clenching throughout the day, having a mouth guard that can be worn anytime is also beneficial.
Don’t confuse these mouthguards with those you purchase at any store. These are different. They are custom-fitted for your mouth so that they provide the proper relief without doing any additional damage.
Investing in treatment - and following through with it - is the best way to stop grinding your teeth and protect your oral health.
Teeth Grinding Treatment with Dr. Chui
At San Francisco Dental Wellness, Dr. Chui and his team of dental professionals have extensive experience in the treatment of bruxism and TMJ disorders. Dr. Chui provides effective treatment to veterans suffering from complex TMJ disorders as the clinical director at the San Francisco VA medical center. If you believe you clench your jaw or grind your teeth as you sleep, then it is important to seek treatment sooner rather than later.
We offer personalized treatment options just for you.