Teeth Grinding | Nottingham Dental

Teeth grinding — also known as bruxism — is a condition in which you clench your teeth subconsciously. Please continue reading for a detailed discussion of teeth grinding at Nottingham Dental in Katy, TX.

Teeth Grinding

When you chew your food, your teeth come in contact with each other occasionally. In normal situations, your teeth should only be in contact with each other for a total duration of 5 minutes per day. This limits the amount of wear over the years, which is perfectly normal. However, sometimes, your teeth may develop a flattened look or the enamel may be worn thin as if it has been scraped off. Regular chewing habits shouldn’t erode the enamel to such an extent.

Most people don’t even know they have habits that will cause such issues. But if you find that you subconsciously grind your teeth at any time of the day or night, you may damage your teeth considerably. In some cases, people grind their teeth while sleeping while others do it while they’re awake. A good indication that you suffer from teeth grinding — or bruxism — is jaw soreness or toothaches in the morning. The muscles in your jaws are extremely strong and they can cause a lot of damage if you don’t check your teeth grinding habit.

Teeth grinding doesn’t just wear down the teeth and strain your muscles, but it also damages your joints. Furthermore, damage to these joints can lead to considerable chronic pain and arthritis. You may also hear popping and clicking sounds when you chew or move your jaw muscles. This condition is also pretty difficult to reverse once it sets in.

Most people don’t even realize they suffer from teeth grinding until it’s too late, especially if they suffer from nighttime teeth grinding. That’s why you need to be vigilant about the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding. If you notice flattened teeth or soreness, you need to contact a dentist immediately. Please continue reading for a detailed discussion of teeth grinding at Nottingham Dental in Katy, TX.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding and Bruxism

As mentioned earlier, most people don’t even realize they suffer from teeth grinding or bruxism until it’s too late. The following are some signs and symptoms of teeth grinding you should watch out for:

  • Teeth clenching habits.
  • Grinding your teeth while sleeping, which may be loud enough to wake your sleeping partner.
  • Chipped or fractured appearance of your teeth.
  • Heightened sensitivity in your teeth due to thinning enamel.
  • Tightening of jaw muscles, which can lead to soreness and pain.
  • Sore facial muscles.
  • Earaches.
  • Headaches.
  • Insomnia due to nighttime bruxism.
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Root Cause of Teeth Grinding and Bruxism

Teeth grinding and bruxism may be caused by psychological or physiological reasons. It’s important to discover the root cause of teeth grinding and address them directly. The following are the most common causes of teeth grinding and bruxism.

  • Stress, anxiety, and anger are extremely common causes of teeth grinding and they can lead to you clenching your teeth.
  • Children often suffer from teeth grinding when they’re young, but that goes away with age.
  • People who are aggressive or extremely competitive tend to grind and clench their teeth often.
  • Sometimes psychiatric medications may lead to teeth grinding as a side effect.
  • Bruxism is also caused by tobacco usage.
  • Your genetic makeup may have you predisposed to teeth grinding.
  • Teeth grinding also happens because of underlying medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and several others.

Consequences of Teeth Grinding

If you suffer from constant teeth grinding, you should seek help immediately. If you don’t seek help, your teeth grinding may have terrible consequences:

  • Temporomandibular Joints Disorder (TMD): Temporomandibular Joints are points on both sides of your head that connect your jaws to your face, which facilitates jaw-related movements. However, teeth grinding can affect these joints and eventually lead to TMD, which leads to facial swelling, headaches, jaw soreness, and other such issues.
  • Damage and Fractures: Constant teeth grinding wear away your enamel and may chip or damage your teeth. It can also damage your dental appliances such as dental crowns or bridges.
  • Insomnia: People who suffer from nighttime grinding often suffer from insomnia and the inability to rest peacefully. This, in turn, can affect every other aspect of your life.
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How to Treat Teeth Grinding?

If you go for regular dental appointments, your dentist will likely catch signs of teeth grinding during your sessions. In most cases, if you display signs of teeth grinding, the dentist will ask you to come at regular intervals so they can track the progress of your teeth grinding, the damage it’s causing, and try to narrow down its potential root cause. The dentist will also ask some basic questions about your sleeping habits and lifestyle.

Based on all of that information, the dentist may recommend one or several of the following treatments or preventative methods for teeth grinding:

  • Mouth Guard for Grinding: These are soft appliances you wear in your mouth and their primary function is to prevent your teeth from gnashing against each other, keeping them separated. While this won’t treat teeth grinding, it will protect your teeth from damage.
  • Dental Correction: The dentist will fix the damage caused by teeth grinding through onlays and dental fillings to treat fractures and cracks. They may also have to surgically alter the chewing surface of your mouth to minimize the impact of teeth grinding.
  • Psychological Changes: The dentist may refer you to a behavioral psychological or sleep specialist if they believe your teeth grinding is caused by psychological factors or habits. This may involve stress management, biofeedback to understand and alter how you control your muscles or behavioral changes.
  • Medications: The dentist may prescribe some medications to temporarily calm you down and minimize teeth grinding while you pursue other more effective solutions.

Schedule an Appointment to Stop your Teeth Grinding

At Nottingham Dental, we have world-renowned dental experts who get to the root cause of your teeth grinding and bruxism before prescribing treatments. We believe in long-term holistic solutions to your teeth grinding problems and we also provide mouthguards to protect your teeth in the meantime. For more information, please schedule your appointment to stop your teeth grinding today.