If you wake up to a sore jawbone, tooth sensitivity, or slight headaches, these are all warning signs that you have been grinding your teeth. While it’s common for people to grind their teeth or clench their jaw occasionally, tooth damage can occur if done too often.
Commonly referred to as bruxism, chronic teeth grinding can occur for multiple reasons, and when it does, Garner Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help!
Teeth Grinding Treatment Options
Dr. Wingate and our team will work with you to understand the underlying cause of your bruxism. You will also be evaluated for tooth damage or gum inflammation. All of this information will be used to create your personalized treatment plan.
We recommend many of our patients who experience chronic teeth grinding to utilize a night guard. A night guard is a custom-made covering worn over the teeth that allow the jaw muscles to relax and prevents tooth damage.
Similar to a sports mouthguard, a night guard is removable and can be used on an as-needed basis. Through the use of a night guard, we are typically able to relieve patients of all the uncomfortable symptoms brought on by teeth grinding.
Understanding Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can be hard to notice, as most people do this in their sleep or when they are dealing with high-stress levels. Additionally, people with misaligned teeth are more likely to experience teeth grinding.
Dr. Angela Wingate looks for the following signs of teeth grinding during your routine visits:
- Worn or “flat” teeth
- Chipped, cracked teeth
- Changes in your bite
- Clicking or popping jaws
If you notice any of these symptoms yourself, you should contact our office to discuss potential treatment options in order to avoid permanent tooth damage.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth naturally?
If you are struggling with grinding your teeth, any food with caffeine may cause the issue to worsen. The first thing that patients should do if they realize that they are grinding their teeth is to cut out caffeine and alcohol. Patients should also avoid chewing ice, pens, fingernails, etc.
What does teeth grinding pain feel like?
Pain from teeth grinding is typically described as an achy pain, usually in the back of a patient’s mouth. Sometimes patients may describe a sharp pain, but in most cases the pain is muscular making it an achy feeling.
Many patients grind their teeth more on one side of their jaw; some may be able to tell which side the issue is worse based on pain levels.
What is the difference between bruxism and clenching?
The official word from grinding one’s teeth is bruxism. Bruxism is when a patient grinds their teeth together in a back and forth motion. This may cause teeth to wear down and flatten at the bottom.
Clenching is when a patient holds their teeth together tight, biting down and tightening muscles, however there is no motion of grinding between the teeth and therefore significantly less damage.