Frequent headaches, worn teeth, or broken teeth can have many causes, but one of the most common ones is teeth grinding, clinically known as “bruxism.” Many people don’t even know they are grinding their teeth as it often happens while they are sleeping, but it can also happen throughout the day. Skilled dentists like Dr. Robert Gauthier and Dr. Joseph Costa at Russell Street Dental Associates in Worcester, MA can easily identify teeth grinding and help you with ways to stop it and its side effects.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
Tooth grinding and jaw clenching often indicate an issue with the patient’s bite. The “bite” refers to the alignment of the teeth when they bite down and chew. People who grind or clench their teeth often have uneven bites – conditions commonly known as underbite or overbite.
Teeth grinding is usually associated with unmanaged stress, whether from your own personal environmental factors or stress inside the mouth and jaw from a dental problem. When teeth, jaw, and intricate system of muscles in the mouth and neck aren’t working together properly, this can create tension which can result in headaches, facial pain, and teeth grinding.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
Dentists can usually easily identify signs of teeth grinding, such as:
- Worn or dull teeth, especially chips or flat spots
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain
- Frequent headaches
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
How to Stop Teeth Grinding
A lot of advice suggests reducing your stress levels, which may help you stop grinding your teeth, but if that stress is related to a structural issue in your mouth which is outside of your control, you’ll need other ways to help stop teeth grinding. Often, stress reduction and occlusal appliances are combined to treat bruxism to great effect.
There are several different options available to those seeking treatment with occlusal appliances. You might be familiar with night guards, which are a type of occlusal appliance that are custom-fitted and designed to fit over the top or bottom teeth to prevent nighttime teeth grinding.
For more severe cases, your dentist may recommend mandibular advancement devices, which are designed to pull the jaw forward when the dentist suspects a sleep disorder may be exacerbating the problem. These appliances are often called “snore guards” as they help align the jaw during sleep to help treat snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea.
Bruxism Treatment in Worcester, MA
Teeth grinding can damage teeth and cause great discomfort, so it’s important to seek treatment if you believe you may be grinding your teeth. Russell Street Dental Associates is a full-service dental office that can help you put an end to bruxism and keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Call (508) 687-6579 or schedule an appointment online to start working towards a healthier smile today.