Bruxism refers to the grinding of the teeth or the clenching of the jaw on a persistent basis. Why do we grind our teeth? Multiple factors can cause this disorder, which threatens both the health and appearance of your smile. With the right treatment and lifestyle changes you can stop grinding your teeth and avoid the uncomfortable symptoms related to this disorder.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bruxism
Question: What causes bruxism?
Answer: A variety of factors can lead to grinding or clenching of the teeth, including stress, malocclusion, misalignment, over consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and tooth loss. Understanding the cause of your bruxism is vital for finding the most appropriate treatment.
Question: How do I know if I grind my teeth?
Answer: Many people only grind their teeth during sleep. As a result, they may not even be aware they suffer from this disorder. Common warning signs include toothaches, tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, headaches, earaches, jaw pain, and facial discomfort. If one or more of these symptoms sound familiar, then you may need to schedule a consultation.
Question: What are the risks of grinding or clenching my teeth?
Answer: Without treatment, the constant pressure can eventually wear down your teeth, exposing sensitive inner tissue to bacteria. Patients can then potentially develop tooth decay, infections, and painful abscesses. In addition, the strain on the jaw joints may cause TMJ disorder to develop, which can make opening and closing your mouth fully difficult and uncomfortable.
Question: How do I treat this problem?
Answer: We can often address this issue with a custom-made orthodontic appliance. Similar in appearance to a nigh guard, but much more complex, this device allows the dentist to place a barrier between your teeth to stop grinding episodes. We can also recommend simply muscle exercises to ease tension. Finally, reducing the stress in your daily life, as well as limiting the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, can help decrease bruxism symptoms.
ABOUT YOUR WACO DENTIST
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Corbet Locke, please contact us at (254) 776-4888. Our office welcomes patients living in Waco, Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and nearby cities.