The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism.It is not uncommon for people to grind or clench their teeth occasionally. This does not usually cause too much of a problem. However, grinding your teeth on a regular basis can damage your teeth. Often people grind their teeth while they are sleeping. Grinding teeth at night is often caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Chronic grinding of your teeth wears down the enamel and can cause cracked or broken teeth. If this occurs you may need cosmetic dentistry to repair the damage. This is what we specialize in here at Dr. Tyler M. Christensen, DDS PC Dental in Henderson, Nevada.
How do I know if I grind my teeth?
Here are some signs that you may be grinding your teeth at night:
- Sore jaw. Your jaw muscles tighten when you grind or clench your teeth. If you do this repeatedly when you sleep you may wake up with a sore jaw
- Headaches. The pain from your jaw created by the clenching then travels to other places in the skull, causing headaches or, in severe cases, migraines.
- Complaints from your Partner. Your partner hears you grind. Some grinding can be loud enough to wake your partner.
- Tooth sensitivity or pain. Bruxism can be a cause of aching teeth. However, aching teeth can have different causes such as tooth decay. So contact your dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing sensitive or aching teeth.
What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?
One of the best and simplest solutions to preventing teeth grinding is a mouth guard. Your dentist can fit you with mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. Mouth guards can also be designed so you can wear them during the day, for example: when you are driving.
5 Other tips to reduce teeth grinding:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
If you suspect you may be suffering from bruxism call us today to make an appointment (702) 331-2121
Dr. Tyler M. Christensen, DDS PC