Teeth grinding is a common if not serious condition in which the patient clenches their jaw, and as a result, the teeth scrape against one another. It’s a usually unconscious situation, occurring most often during sleep. It affects both children and adults, and especially in adults, it is due to stress.
Though teeth grinding, or bruxism, can occur while you are awake, it is mostly a disturbance of sleep, and as such, the person often goes unnoticed. It can cause the occasional teeth grinding headache, but without any external signs or symptoms, you might not know you grind your teeth without a dental exam.
To learn more about bruxism and how you can identify and treat this common condition, contact Lovett Dental today at 832-804-7427.
For most adults, teeth grinding is an unconscious flexing of the jaw, usually due to stress or anxiety. This action can lead to jaw or head pain, but if it’s severe enough and goes on for a long time without intervention, it can cause fractures or wear on the teeth.
Teeth grinding in sleep is the most common presentation of bruxism, and it too can have an anxiety or stress component. It can also occur due to TMJ, lack of quality sleep, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. You might not even know you have it unless a dentist notices wear on your teeth, which is a great reason to get regular dental check-ups, especially if you’re also being treated for anxiety.
For many people, there will be no outward signs, particularly if the grinding occurs during sleep. You might notice jaw pain on one side, or a dull headache, again on one side of your head. These are due to the jaw muscles being clenched up while you sleep. Not only can this teeth grinding occur because of poor sleep, but it can also cause poor sleep habits in a cycle that feeds itself.
Jaw misalignment is another cause of teeth grinding, though it’s more common in children. If you’re an adult with unaddressed misalignment problems, such as an over or underbite, your dentist should be checking you for teeth grinding.
Your dentist can identify if you grind your teeth with a quick exam. They will be looking for signs of wear, particularly in your back teeth. If they see what they suspect is evidence of teeth grinding, they can intervene in a handful of ways.
If your teeth grinding in sleep is due to anxiety, your first step is working with your dentist and doctor to manage your stress. While you resolve that, your dentist can fit you for a mouthguard that you will wear during sleep to keep your teeth from grinding together.
In the event you have silently dealt with teeth grinding for a long time, your dentist might need to intervene with prosthetics, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures.
If you’re looking for help with teeth grinding in Houston, Texas, or the surrounding areas, contact Lovett Dental at 832-804-7427 today. We are a practice that offers family and general dentistry for all ages. In addition to general oral health and hygiene services, we also provide services such as:
The Lovett Dental staff prides itself on our commitment to helping patients and their families achieve healthier, brighter smiles. Please stop by our offices, give us a call or contact us online to see what a difference Lovett Dental can make in solving your grinding of teeth issue or any other dental needs you might have.