Do you grind your teeth without knowing it?
Everyone clenches and grinds their teeth occasionally, usually as the result of tension or stress. However, for some people grinding, especially during sleep, is a chronic habit that causes uncomfortable symptoms like head and jaw pain.
But teeth grinding (bruxism) isn’t just an annoying or painful habit. Without treatment, the excessive force placed on your teeth can lead to dental erosion, broken teeth, broken fillings or restorations, and TMD, a disorder of the temporomandibular joint (the joint where your jaws connect).
Fortunately, at Boca Smiles Dentistry, we can often address the symptoms of chronic teeth grinding and TMJ with a simple, non-invasive customized dental device.
Signs That You Grind Your Teeth
The majority of damage done by bruxism occurs while you sleep. How can you tell if you’re grinding your teeth during the night? Here are a few signs to look for:
- Persistent headache pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Sore jaw muscles on waking
- Tooth sensitivity when you bite down
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
Pinpointing the Problem
Dr. Raymond Lee will start by listening to your concerns to understand the severity of your grinding. Next, he will perform a thorough exam to check your dental bite and evaluate the movement of the muscle and temporomandibular joints.
There is no single cause of bruxism. In some cases, it’s related to stress, but it may also be your body’s attempt to find a comfortable biting position if your teeth don’t fit together properly.
Treating Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is a destructive habit that will cause damage and wear to your teeth. Finding a solution to get bruxism under control is the first step in helping reduce the resulting dental damage and discomfort.
Most of the damage that people do to their teeth with grinding is done while they sleep. In this case, the first step is a night guard, which is customized to prevent upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with each other. This is often the only solution that our patients need to relieve the discomfort of grinding. It gives the jaw a rest and takes the pressure off your TMJ, allowing the joint to rest and recover.
Relaxation techniques can also be beneficial in reducing the painful symptoms of teeth grinding. Dr. Lee may recommend medication therapy or techniques like meditation to minimize stress. In some cases, it may be necessary to refer you to a specialist for more advanced treatment.
Relief Is a Phone Call Away!
Teeth grinding and TMJ can be painful and disruptive to your life. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, please call our Boca Raton dental office. We will be happy to arrange a consultation with Dr. Lee to discuss your problem and determine how we can help.