Why Teeth Clenching Is a Real Grind
Excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching is more than a bad habit. It’s actually a disorder called bruxism. It can occur at any age and can range in its severity. Yet in many cases, it can result in significant dental, medical, and psychological distress. Find out how to treat teeth grinding.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism often results from psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, anger, or frustration. It can also be due to dental disorders like an improper bite, jaw problems, or missing or poorly positioned teeth. Teeth grinding and clenching can happen all day long or it may only occur while you’re sleeping. Since it often happens during sleep, many people aren’t aware that they have a problem until someone mentions it, they start experiencing earaches or headaches, or their dentist discovers dental damage.
What Are the Effects of Teeth Grinding?
Many people only grind their teeth occasionally or suffer for a short time before the habit subsides. But for others, bruxism can be severe and result in emotional distress, physical discomfort and dental disorders. These are the most common:
- Jaw pain
- Joint damage or disorders like TMJ
- Erosion of tooth enamel and loss of bone
- Loose teeth
- Broken teeth
- Tooth loss
- Facial-appearance changes
What Are Effective Treatments for Bruxism?
If you find that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth and don’t know how to stop, then you need to seek professional treatment. Discuss your concerns with your dentist and ask for a dental examination. If your bruxism is causing dental damage, you may be given special dental appliances. If your teeth grinding is caused by other factors, you may be need to see your primary doctor, a psychologist, or a sleep specialist for the appropriate treatment. Some of the most effective treatments include:
- Exercising regularly.
- Practicing stress-management techniques.
- Relaxing your jaw muscles at night with special exercises.
- Staying away from chewing gum, which promotes teeth clenching and grinding.
- Limiting caffeinated foods and beverages.
- Avoiding alcohol, which of worsens teeth grinding.
- Getting a nighttime mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding when sleeping.
- Discussing the problem with a psychologist.
- Getting a prescription for muscle relaxants or antidepressants.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Westminster, call Dental One Associates of Westminster today at (410) 970-0292 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Westminster. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Westminster, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Westminster.