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Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Posted in Teeth Grinding

2 minute read

If you wake up each morning with a headache or a sore jaw, it may be because you grind your teeth while you sleep. Teeth grinding, medically known as “bruxism,” is relatively common and only harmful when done on a regular basis. Since bruxism usually occurs during sleep, the symptoms are often not noticeable until the teeth have been significantly worn down. This can damage the teeth and cause other health complications. In some cases, bruxism can result in fractured teeth, loose teeth, or complete tooth loss, and it can also cause hearing loss and negatively affect your jaws.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Bruxism can be caused by stress and anxiety but is more often the result of missing teeth, crooked teeth, or an abnormal bite pattern.

How to Prevent Teeth Grinding

If teeth grinding is a chronic problem, your dentist can fit you for a mouth guard to wear while you sleep. If your teeth grinding is stress-related, look for ways to reduce stress, such as starting an exercise program, seeking stress counseling, practicing yoga, or getting a prescription for muscle relaxants.

Cutting back on foods and beverages that contain caffeine can also help prevent bruxism. Do not chew on non-food items, such as gum, during the day. Gum causes you to develop the habit of clenching your teeth. You can help relax your jaw muscles by putting your tongue between your teeth during the day and by holding a warm washcloth along your jawline at night. Dehydration is also linked to bruxism, so be sure to drink plenty of water each day.

Fixing the Damage Caused by Teeth Grinding

Depending on the resulting damage, there are several procedures available to repair teeth after grinding. When bruxism results in missing teeth, the gaps can be filled by inserting dental implants, bridges, dentures, or partial dentures. If the tooth becomes fractured, loose, or chipped, the solution is often crowns or dental bonding.

If you are concerned that you grind your teeth at night, schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, Dr. Sands. He can check for signs of bruxism, determine if the habit will cause damage in the future, and correct any damage it may have already caused. Please visit our contact page or call (310) 273-0111 today to schedule your consultation.