Teeth grinding and clenching is a common habit that can lead to major problems for your teeth. If your family dentist notices damage due to grinding and clenching, he might recommend treatment to help prevent it. In the long-term, eliminating or reducing this habit can significantly extend the life of your teeth.
Causes and Symptoms of Grinding and Clenching
Although it can be seen as just a bad habit, grinding and/or clenching your teeth can often be traced to an underlying cause that can be treated. Some of the most common causes of teeth grinding, also called bruxism, include:
- Misalignment of the teeth
- Temporomandibular joint disorder, or misalignment of the jawbone
Any of these causes can be addressed if you are aware of them. If you notice any of the following symptoms, talk to your family dentist about possible treatment.
- Damage to your teeth, especially if it seems to appear overnight
- Your partner tells you that you grind your teeth when you sleep
- Aching in the jaw or ears
Results of Grinding and Clenching
Grinding your teeth can cause a variety of problems, up to and including major tooth damage and tooth loss. Some of the long-term effects of bruxism include:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Abnormal wear and tear on the molars
- Jawbone misalignment, or temporomandibular joint disorder
Prompt treatment can prevent major damage in the long term.
Treatment for Grinding and Clenching
Appropriate treatment for bruxism depends upon the root cause. Your dentist can evaluate the causes of your teeth grinding and determine what treatment will work best for you.
Treatment can include:
- Orthodontic treatment such as braces or invisalign
- Mouthguard or splints to wear at night
- Adjustment of your bite using veneers, inlays, onlays, or dental bonding
- Stress relief measures
- Specific treatment for TMD
With timely and appropriate treatment, you can prevent long-term, major damage to your teeth and ensure that your smile stays beautiful and intact for years to come. Our team at Hulen Crossing Family Dentistry is here to help your team! Call us today.