A significant number of people grind and clench their teeth involuntarily when asleep or awake. In some cases, those that engage in this behavior may not even know that it occurs, which exposes them to adverse effects. It is vital to seek professional help if you know or suspect that you grind teeth to learn how to prevent these effects. Splendid Dental Woodlands provides specialty dental services to help you deal with grinding teeth and prevent related issues.
Symptoms of Grinding Teeth
The symptoms of grinding teeth may be challenging to identify, mainly if it occurs during sleep. However, keen observation and learning more about the condition can help recognize them and seek treatment. One of the most common teeth grinding symptoms is clenching, which is loud enough to wake other people who sleep in the same room. This behavior can also disrupt sleep and lead to persistent dull morning headaches that often start in the temples.
Grinding teeth damages the enamel and exposes sensitive parts of the teeth, such as nerves and roots. As a result, one may experience increased sensitivity when taking hot and cold food or drinks. It also weakens teeth, leading to chipping, breakage, cracking, and sometimes teeth loss. Moreover, grinding strains muscles, causing pain and soreness in the neck, inner parts of the mouth, ears, and cheeks.
Causes of Grinding Teeth
Most dentists relate grinding teeth and jaw clenching to a combination of genetic, physical, and psychological factors. The leading cause of this behavior when awake is experiencing distressing emotions such as anger, tension, and frustration.
Other than that, some factors may make some people more prone to bruxism compared to others. For instance, young children are more likely to suffer from the condition compared to older ones. Besides, using some psychiatric medications, such as antidepressants, can increase the risk. Other teeth grinding predisposing factors include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Mental health issues like dementia
- Drinking alcohol and drinks that contain caffeine
- Family history of grinding teeth
How to Stop Grinding Teeth
It is crucial to visit a Splendid Dental Woodlands dentist if you notice any of the discussed symptoms of grinding teeth. This dental specialist can conduct a dental exam and ask various questions to confirm that you engage in the behavior. They may then recommend a wide range of techniques to deal with it, depending on the identified cause or trigger.
One of the most effective ways to treat bruxism is by wearing a protective mouthguard when sleeping. This device has two bite plates that fit over the upper and lower teeth to prevent contact and reduce friction. A dentist can use an impression of the mouth and gums to create a customized device or help you choose a ready-made one. They may also advise on techniques you can use to prevent grinding teeth, such as reducing caffeine intake. Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid chewing nails or items like pens when feeling stressed, as it exhausts the jaw and encourages clenching. More ways you can use to deal with bruxism include:
- Using mind relaxing techniques like meditation to reduce stress
- Practicing good sleep habits like a regular pattern
- Undergoing a corrective dentistry procedure to deal with a bad bite
- Taking muscle-relaxing medication before sleeping
- Seeking treatment for sleep-related issues like apnea
- Proper jaw and mouth positioning
Contact Splendid Dental in The Woodlands for Grinding Teeth Treatment
Grinding teeth can damage the enamel and lead to adverse issues such as chronic jaw pain and stiffness. At Splendid Dental in The Woodlands, we provide various treatments and specialty dental services to tackle this problem. Some of these treatments include fitting braces and mouthguards to correct a bad bite and protect teeth when sleeping. Besides that, our dentists can assess the condition of appliances damaged by clenching and grinding. They will then advise you on various ways to prevent and reduce this behavior even when you are awake. If you are looking for grinding teeth treatment in Texas, contact Splendid Dental in The Woodlands today at 713-587-9996 to book an appointment.