If you carry a lot of tension in the jaw, have frequent headaches, or have worn or broken teeth, you may be surprised to learn you have bruxism, which means you grind your teeth. This condition can happen both while you’re awake and during sleep, negatively impacting your quality of life and putting your oral health at risk.
West Ashley Family Dentistry in Charleston, SC can easily identify and help you manage the effects of teeth grinding and help eliminate this often-subconscious habit.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
People with bruxism often have a problem with their bite, which is how dentists refer to the alignment of your teeth. People who grind or clench their teeth often have uneven bites, such as an underbite or overbite.
Bruxism is also commonly associated with stress, whether from environmental factors in your life or stress inside the mouth and jaw from a dental problem. The teeth and jaw work using an intricate system of muscles in the mouth and neck, and when this system doesn’t work properly, it results in tension. This tension can lead to headaches, teeth grinding, and face and neck pain.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
Dentists can usually easily identify signs of teeth grinding, such as:
- Jaw pain or tension
- Worn or dull teeth, especially chips or flat spots
- Frequent headaches
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
- Sensitive teeth
How to Stop Teeth Grinding
Sometimes, reducing your personal stress levels may help you stop grinding your teeth, but if the stress is caused by a dental problem, you’ll need other ways to help stop teeth grinding. In many cases, a combination of stress reduction and oral appliances are used to treat bruxism.
There are a few different types of oral or occlusal appliances your dentist may use. You may be familiar with night guards, which are custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to fit over the teeth to prevent the top and bottom teeth from grinding against each other.
Another type of occlusal appliance are mandibular advancement devices, which bring the jaw forward when the dentist suspects a sleep disorder as the cause of the problem. You may be familiar with these as “snore guards,” which can reduce snoring by aligning the jaw during sleep to help with sleep apnea.
Bruxism Treatment in Charleston, SC
Teeth grinding can damage teeth and keep you from living a pain-free life, so it’s important to seek treatment if you grind your teeth. West Ashley Family Dentistry is a full-service dental provider that can help you put an end to bruxism and keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Schedule an appointment online or call (843) 371-5480 today.