You could be the best tooth brusher in the world, but if you’re grinding your teeth at night you’re going to have problems further down the road.
Teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, is an issue experienced by between 5% and 20% of patients in the U.S. Bruxism can affect patients for both short and long durations.
The short term symptoms and consequences of bruxism vary greatly, including:
- Sore jaw and face musclesmyalgia (aching jaw & facial muscles)
- Stiffness in your shoulders
- Trouble sleeping
- Ear aches and sinus trouble
- Gum inflammation and recession
The long term effects of teeth grinding are much more serious, and are generally only a problem if it’s not taken care of for many years. However, these symptoms can lead to a need for tooth replacement treatments ranging from dental bridges or even affordable dentures to replace the worn or damaged teeth.
However, when it comes to teeth grinding – most patients already understand their symptoms. They know that they’re having trouble sleeping. They know they’re waking up with a headache, and experiencing sensitivity. What the patients of our dental practice in Garden Grove are often unsure about is how to actually fix tooth grinding.
More often than not, this comes down to understanding the actual problem. By pinpointing the underlying cause of toothgrinding, our dentists can suggest the best possible solution. These causes often include:
- Lack of sleep
- Chewing and nailbiting
- Alcohol (which causes clenching)
- Caffeine (which can lead to hyperactivity and tension).
Once these underlying causes are pinpointed, the treatment is relatively easy. Sometimes, it comes down to a simple lifestyle change. Other times, it could require the use of a mouth-guard to be worn at night, while sleeping.