Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is a health condition where a person’s jaws move aggressively together and teeth rub against each other in a back and forth motion or from side to side while not chewing. Most of the time, the person is oblivious of the action since it’s an unconscious activity involving the jawbone’s nerves and muscles. Teeth clenching occurs when a person tenses their jawbone, thus holding their teeth together. In this case, however, the teeth do not move at all. Grinding of teeth is one of the most common sleep disorders today, affecting both children and adults.
Bruxism mostly occurs in children, but it can impact people of all ages. If you or your family members struggle with teeth grinding or bruxism, reach out to Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza by calling 832.551.3318.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Teeth clenching and grinding puts excessive pressure on the tissue and muscles around the jaw area, which consequently causes teeth damage, fracturing, chipping, and blunting. These may lead to:
- Sore gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Jawbone stiffness and pain
- Loose and broken teeth
- Dull, repetitive headache
- Eating disorders
- Painful chewing
Severe bruxism can damage the tooth’s occlusal surfaces, leading to Tempo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) syndrome.
Common Causes of Teeth Grinding
It’s still unclear what causes teeth grinding; however, the following factors may cause this teeth disorder. They include:
- Stress: Stress can sometimes cause a physical reaction in your body and manifest as bruxism. Stressful situations can occur at times of anxiety, concentration, anger, etc.
- Occlusion or a misaligned bite: In such cases, teeth do not align when the jaw closes, causing an occlusal discrepancy.
- Certain types of medications: Antidepressants, amphetamines, and antipsychotics can lead to clenching the jaw.
- Neurological conditions: Parkinson’s or Huntington’s diseases can sometimes cause a person to grind their teeth.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Teeth Grinding
Your doctor will first go over your medical history and then conduct relevant checkups. Signs to look for include tooth damage, stiff and inflamed jawbone. However, the most reliable diagnostic technique for bruxism is electro-myographic (EMG) measurements, which pick up signals from the chewing muscles (the masseter and temporalis muscles). A pediatric dentist may ask whether the child is experiencing anger bouts or feelings to identify any stress triggers.
Each treatment plan depends on the source of the bruxism. While there’s no sure cure for the disorder, there’re several available treatment options that can cure underlying causes and relieve visible symptoms. Daytime teeth grinding and clenching may reduce with regular physical exercise and therapy. Nevertheless, nighttime bruxism requires advanced treatment strategies since it’s outside the patient’s control. If your teeth grinding disorder is caused by sleep apnea or stress, treating these health issues may ease the symptoms.
Other treatment options include:
- Restorative dentistry: For people who’ve experienced teeth damage, a doctor can restore a healthy dental structure through dental crowns, dental bonding, and other available restorative dentistry plans.
- Orthodontics: Ideal for realignment of misaligned and crooked teeth.
- Mouthguards: They are usually worn at night to prevent the grinding of teeth against each other. It can also work as a temporary jaw muscle and tissue relaxant.
Contact Lovett Dental for Effective Bruxism Treatment
At Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza, our priority is to help you maintain maximum dental health, including treating bruxism using high-quality techniques and preventing potential teeth damage. If you or a loved one are experiencing discomfort caused by teeth grinding symptoms, call us today at 832.551.3318 or contact us online and book an appointment. We are an experienced dental team of orthodontists, general dentists, pedodontists, periodontists, and endodontists. We are happy to discuss the severity of your condition and develop a customized and effective treatment plan.