Bruxism is another name for chronic tooth grinding. Since this condition often happens during sleep, people with bruxism may not be aware of the habit unless a dentist notices signs of stress and wear on the teeth. Bruxism is also a contributing factor to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and may be discovered as TMJ disorders are explored. During a preventative checkup, if we notice signs that bruxism is affecting you, there are solutions we can offer.
What Are the Signs of Bruxism?
Sometimes a person will notice they are consistently grinding or clenching the teeth. If it occurs at night, it may awaken someone else, who reports it. One of the purposes of regular dental checkups is to allow a professional to examine your teeth and look for wear patterns that indicate bruxism. The tooth grinder may report pain in the jaw, or headaches, toothaches or facial pain. Damage to the tongue or the inside of the cheek can also point to bruxism.
What Happens If Bruxism Isn’t Treated?
In some mild cases, particularly in response to a temporary stressful situation, treatment may not be needed. However, if the grinding persists, it can cause stress and wear on the tooth surfaces, and it can crack teeth or damage restorations such as crowns. Untreated bruxism can also be a source of jaw pain, headaches, facial pain and pain in the TMJ.
What Can Be Done to Treat Bruxism?
Many cases of bruxism can be relieved with a custom-fitted mouth guard, usually worn at night. A correctly fitted appliance can cushion the teeth and keep them separated. Sometimes realigning the teeth, such as through Invisalign® Aligners, can address malocclusion (misalignment of teeth) that may be contributing to tooth grinding. If the teeth have been damaged, there are other restorative procedures we can discuss, once the root issue of tooth grinding has been properly managed.
ABOUT YOUR MAPLE GROVE, MN, DENTIST:
To schedule an appointment at Elm Creek Dental in Maple Grove, MN, call our office today at (763) 416-0606. We proudly serve residents of Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park, Rogers, Elk River, Osseo, Otsego, Plymouth, Wayzata, and surrounding communities.