Do you wake in the morning with a sore jaw? Do you sometimes experience tooth sensitivity, or have you noticed that your teeth look worn down? These could be signs of bruxism, also known as teeth griding. At Absolute Smile, your dental office in Philadelphia, we see patients who have damage from teeth grinding. So, how do you step grinding your teeth?
Signs You’re Grinding Your Teeth
Sometimes, you may have a partner who tells you that you grind your teeth in your sleep. However, there are other signs of tooth grinding that you or your dentist may find. These include,
- Tenderness in the jaw muscle
- Dental abnormalities such as worn, broken, or missing teeth
- Damage to your cheeks or to the underlying bone (usually seen during an exam or on an X-ray)
What Causes Tooth Grinding?
Tooth grinding is usually a stress response, but that doesn’t mean it’s always caused by stress and anxiety. In addition to stress and anxiety, things that can cause bruxism include,
- Some medications that include bruxism as a side effect
- Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
- Medical conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
How Do You Treat and Prevent Tooth Grinding?
If you have damage to your teeth due to teeth grinding, your dentist may recommend,
- Dental correction such as crowns or veneers to repair tooth damage or implants to replace lost teeth.
- Mouth guards to keep teeth separated and prevent grinding
Other methods of treating bruxism look to preventing the grinding behavior. These include,
- Stress or anxiety management such as therapy, medication, or relaxation exercises
- Behavior changing such as practicing proper mouth and jaw positioning
- Mild muscle relaxer at bedtime (for a short time) to prevent the tension that leads to grinding
- Botox injections to prevent the muscles from flexing in your sleep
Are You Looking for a Dental Office in Philadelphia, PA?
Absolute Smile is here to meet your dental health needs. Whether you’re managing bruxism or just need a dental checkup, we’re here for you. Contact us today to make an appointment. Take advantage of our free new patient consultation to meet our staff and choose your new family dentist.