Do you catch yourself grinding your teeth in stressful situations? Do you grind your teeth at night?
Millions of people are affected by bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. Patients with bruxism regularly grind or clench their teeth. Most people grind their teeth at night while they sleep. As a result, you may not realize that you have a dental problem. Instead, you may notice that you have frequent headaches, sore jaw pain, receding gums, and worn teeth.
Dr. Doyle Freano practices “complete dentistry” and seeks to identify the underlying cause of teeth grinding for a more comfortable, permanent solution. Teeth grinding can damage both your teeth and gums. It can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the clinical term for tooth grinding and clenching. There are several common symptoms that accompany bruxism:
- Worn teeth
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Dull or abraded tooth enamel
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Broken fillings and/or crowns
- Frequent morning headaches
- Chipped teeth
Teeth Grinding Treatment in Lexington, KY
Dr. Freano will perform a thorough exam to evaluate a patient’s bite and determine the cause of teeth grinding. As with treating a temporomandibular disorder, restoring balance to the bite will provide lasting results and help support long-term oral health. There is no definitive treatment for bruxism, but we strive to lessen the effects. Dr. Freano may recommend an oral appliance that is worn only during sleep to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching.
- Mouthguard or Dental Splint: An oral appliance such as a mouthguard or dental splint can reduce stress on the jaw joint and relieve symptoms. These are removable appliances, best suited for patients with a balanced bite and healthy temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
- Bite Equilibration Therapy: Bite correction therapy is designed to address tooth damage and misalignment that is affecting the balance of your bite. It involves your dentist making minor adjustments to teeth to allow them to fit together properly, eliminating stress and pressure.
- Invisalign Clear Aligners: Using Invisalign clear aligners to move your teeth into proper alignment can help correct a bad bite. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move your teeth orthodontically into a better position without wires and braces. Patients can receive a healthy bite and beautiful smile at the same time.
Treatment Options for the Effects of Teeth Grinding
Once we’ve successfully helped you stop tooth grinding, the next step is to address the effects teeth grinding has left behind. The aftermath can have a detrimental effect on your mouth. Your worn teeth, cracked teeth, and bleeding gums should be treated as soon as possible to prevent infections and tooth loss.
Dr. Freano can provide the best restorative dentistry procedures, or a total smile makeover, to bring teeth back to optimal health and esthetics. Tooth crowns are great for patients with severely worn teeth. Crowns cover the top and sides of the affected tooth. This creates a new protective layer that is also matched to your tooth color. A dental crown is a permanent restoration. If your front teeth, or teeth in the smile zone are worn down, we may recommend porcelain veneers to restore your smile. Veneers are wafer-like shells we place on teeth. They will add new material to your worn teeth, reshaping them into what your teeth might have looked like before teeth grinding. Veneers are also color-matched to your existing teeth.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Learn more about teeth grinding here:
What is the main reason patients grind their teeth?
Most patients who grind their teeth are unaware that they do. Teeth grinding has been shown to be highly related to stress. Your body grinds its teeth to involuntarily release stress. Teeth grinding is a habit that is hard to break. The best way to break the habit is to identify stressors in your life and find ways to deal with or eliminate them. People may also grind their teeth due to depression, consuming excessive caffeine, or tobacco use.
Why is teeth grinding harmful to my health?
Grinding one’s teeth is harmful to patients’ oral and overall health. It can affect your teeth, enamel, gums, and jaw. It can also have a negative effect on the ability to speak and eat normally.
How can I tell if I have been grinding my teeth at night?
Some of the signs of teeth grinding at night are migraines, muscular pain and tightness, and insomnia. Migraines typically occur in the morning, right after patients wake up. Muscle tightness and pain are common in the jaw and shoulders. If you have TMJ it may be due to teeth grinding. If you notice that the surface of your teeth is worn down or chipped, schedule an appointment with your dentist to get checked for any problems.
Can a vitamin deficiency be the cause of teeth grinding?
Being deficient in some vitamins can cause teeth grinding in patients. A magnesium deficiency is the most common vitamin that causes teeth grinding. Low levels of vitamin D and C may be linked to sleep disorders and teeth grinding at night.
Can teeth recover from grinding?
Teeth grinding causes damage to the surface and enamel of teeth. It can also lead to your bite becoming misaligned due to pressure from clenching and grinding. Damage that has been done to your teeth from grinding cannot be reversed, however, we can attempt to restore it. Patients may also wear a mouthguard at night to protect their teeth from further damage.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Consultation Today
Dr. Freano is an experienced dentist in Lexington KY. He has performed many teeth restorations after addressing bruxism. Give us a call at 859-554-1586 or schedule a dental appointment online today.