There are common signs that you may be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, from worn or cracked teeth to jaw pain and tenderness. Teeth grinding, also called Bruxism, is often related to a TMJ disorder. In some cases, patients are unaware of their teeth grinding because it often occurs during sleep.
Dr. Tufa looks for the signs of teeth grinding during your routine dental exams. Taking measures to prevent teeth grinding as soon as possible can avoid permanent damage to the teeth, gums and jaw joints. If you have concerns that you may be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, discuss them during your next visit or schedule an appointment for an exam.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Patients who grind their teeth often have an underlying bite or TMJ related dental problem. If the bite does not allow the teeth to make proper contact, teeth are missing or there is malocclusion, tension can be created in the jaw muscles. This leads to repeated involuntary movement of the jaw, often occurring during sleep or times of stress.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Dr. Tufa will work with you on an individual basis to address the underlying concern with appropriate dental care to balance the bite, prevent teeth grinding and restore comfort. If there is tooth damage, this will also need to be addressed to avoid tooth loss down the road. Your treatment will be tailored to your oral health condition and needs. It may include:
- Night guard, splint therapy: the most conservative treatment option is the use of a custom night guard that will position the jaw to prevent teeth grinding.
- Restorative treatments: to treat tooth damage or to change the fit of the bite through adjustments to teeth surfaces, dental crowns, tooth bonding and other restorative treatments may be recommended.
- Orthodontics: if crooked teeth are considered the root cause of bruxism, orthodontics may be the solution to realign the bite. We offer the convenience of clear braces using Invisalign.