Have you ever found yourself unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth? You may not even be aware of a teeth grinding habit because you could be doing it in your sleep. This condition, called bruxism, can cause a host of problems, from headaches to enamel erosion to sleep disruption. Milder forms of bruxism may not need treatment, but more severe cases often require it. Today, we want to talk about how to know if you are grinding your teeth, what might be causing your bruxism, and what we can do to help protect your teeth.
Causes of Bruxism
While there is some disagreement over exactly what causes bruxism, most doctors agree it is a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. If you tend to grind your teeth when awake, it may be a coping strategy to deal with stress and/or anxiety. If you exhibit bruxism while sleeping, it may also be a sign of stress and/or anxiety, or may indicate a sleep disorder.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Some of our patients note that they grind their teeth loudly enough to wake up their partner during the night. Over time, teeth grinding and clenching can result in broken, chipped, and flattened teeth. Bruxism can wear away your enamel, the outer protective layer of your teeth, to expose the deeper layers of your teeth. This may increase your teeth’s sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. For more serious cases of bruxism, you may experience severe jaw pain and headaches.
At Palos Heights Family Dental, we provide treatments for patients that show signs of bruxism. The way Dr. Arora and Dr. Patel decide how to treat your bruxism will depend on the severity of your case and any factors that seem to cause it. For example, we may recommend certain breathing techniques that can help reduce anxiety and stress. Other times, we may create a custom-fitted mouthguard for you to wear at night to help protect your teeth. No matter what triggers your bruxism, we will work to create an individualized treatment plan that protects your teeth.
Do you want to ask us questions about teeth grinding or your oral care routine, or to schedule your next dental cleaning and checkup?Contact Us