Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common problem affecting up to one in five Americans, with women more likely to fall victim than men. For some people, the effects from teeth grinding are minor and are little more than a minor annoyance. For many others, however, teeth grinding is a significant problem that leads to dental injury. In fact, teeth grinding can cause serious enamel wear, tooth decay, and even tooth fracturing.
Teeth grinding can also caus other harmful side effects including the aggravation of jaw-joint disorders, headaches, and loosened teeth. The loud noises generated by nighttime teeth grinders can also disturb sleeping partners, which strains relationships as a consequence.
Preventing teeth grinding is not always simple, as its causes are not clearly understood. Some health care researchers and professionals believe teeth grinding is due to innate behaviors or genetics. Others believe it’s caused by anxiety or medications. Some patients’ bruxism is probably caused by more than one factor.
Regardless of the cause, dentists can prescribe treatments to alleviate teeth grinding. The most common devices to treat teeth grinding are dental guards and splints. The purpose of splints and guards varies depending on the treatment goals of the dentist, and patients often have to experiment to find the approach that works best for them.
The dentists at Grand Dental Center can fit you with a splint or guard that will prevent damaging your teeth. These devices serve as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth and reduce the amount of rubbing that occurs between the two sets of teeth. While these devices don’t stop your teeth from grinding, they will make the grinding essentially harmless for your teeth. As long as your bruxism doesn’t aggravate your jaw or cause headaches or other symptoms, this kind of splint or guard may work for you.
There are also other ways to reduce teeth grinding including medication and therapy to reduce anxiety and stress. If your teeth grinding is extreme or isn’t helped by splints and guards, our dentists may suggest that you seek out these alternatives from a medical doctor or a trained health care professional.
If you are experiencing teeth grinding, your next step should be to contact Grand Dental Center at 218-326-0339 as soon as possible. We can help find a treatment alternative that will best protect your teeth plus alleviate the troubling symptoms of teeth grinding.