Teeth Grinding Needs Dental Attention
People make jokes about bruxism which is the medical term for teeth grinding or clenching, but it's not funny in the least. As the family dentist in South Easton, MA will confirm, we all clench our teeth when stressed, angry or frustrated, but grinding and clenching on a routine basis can cause significant health and dental problems. Sleep bruxism is a particularly frustrating problem because the grinding and clenching is done unconsciously and when you have no control.
In some cases, frequent teeth grinding leads to headaches and problems with the jaw. It almost always leads to damaged teeth if done long enough and frequently enough. Its the problems with the teeth that often lets people know they are grinding their teeth during the night. As soon as you realize that there are health and dental problems, it's important to visit the family dentist in Easton, MA.
The Many Symptoms of Bruxism
What are the signs of teeth grinding and clenching? The can vary and no two cases are alike. Often the first things you may notice is a chipped tooth or tooth sensitivity. The grinding wears down teeth or erodes enamel and can break existing bridges, crowns and implants. Grinding can also cause loose teeth. Often, the teeth problems are accompanied by pain in the neck, ear or jaw due to the hours of clenching. Experiencing dull headaches is another common system.
Teeth grinding can occur day and night. You or other people are more likely to notice the grinding and clenching during the day. At night, the grinding may make enough noise to waken a partner or spouse. If someone mentions that you frequently clench your teeth or make noises while sleeping, it's important to take it seriously. The sooner you stop the grinding, the more likely you can prevent teeth damage.
Bringing Grinding and Clenching to a Halt
Visiting a dentist is the first step to correcting the problem. The dentist will evaluate your teeth, face and jaw to determine if there is sensitivity. The teeth are checked for signs of wear and tear and dental work is evaluated for damage. The dentist will also ask you questions about your lifestyle because teeth clenching and grinding is associated with stress and sleep disorders.
The family dentist in South Easton, MA can help patients protect their teeth from the damage cause by teeth grinding and clenching. One of the most common treatments is to be fitted with a dental mouth guard.
A custom fitted mouth guard is made by the dentist using an impression made of your teeth. The mouth guard uses a special type of material thats safe and comfortable so wearing it at night doesnt disturb your sleep. Most mouth guards are made to wear on the upper teeth, and they prevent your teeth from touching. In some cases the patient will wear both an upper and lower or just a lower mouth guard. If you grind your teeth during the day and night you may need two types of mouth guards. The night mouth guards are called nocturnal bit plates or bite splints.
If you suspect you are grinding your teeth or are having facial or teeth pain, its important to let the dentist know. The family dentist in South Easton, MA can review the mouth guard options and help you find relief.
by: Gareth Days