Teeth grinding, or Bruxism, is the clenching, grinding, or biting of your teeth. It can happen during the day or night, on purpose or more involuntarily. Commonly found in children, nighttime grinding and chewing on the teeth can cause sensitivity and wear on baby teeth; when adults grind their teeth, the damage is more serious. The causes of teeth grinding are unclear, but daily stress, sleeping habits, and tooth alignment can play a factor.
Grinding your teeth may produce the following symptoms:
Because it is harder to stop teeth grinding during sleep other issues may arise.
Symptoms can lead to temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ) after they affect the muscles and other structures around the jaw. Symptoms can also lead to worn down teeth, a misaligned bite, or any of a large list of jaw-related problems.
Treatments for teeth grinding seek to reduce pain, prevent damage to the teeth, and reduce the time spent grinding or clenching the teeth. Mouth guards or appliances, such as splints, are recommended for the prevention of permanent damage to the teeth.
If you have any of the symptoms of Bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching), call Dr. J. A. Anderson, Jr. at 701-775-3989 immediately and schedule an appointment. There are many options available to resolve the issue, both for prevention and repair. Mouthguards can aid in preventing nighttime tooth grinding, while surgery for crowns or bridges may be needed for teeth that have been severely damaged.
While you’re waiting for your appointment, immediate fixes to ease pain include cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, applying ice or warm water to relieve soreness, relaxing and avoiding stress, and warming your face (with a warm washcloth or steam) to relax the jaw muscles before sleeping.
Dr. Jay Anderson
3425 South Washington St.
Grand Forks ND 58201