Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding

Several factors can contribute to teeth grinding. Many patients grind their teeth while sleeping or because they have an abnormal bite. If you have missing teeth or teeth that are crooked, you may find yourself grinding them from time to time. You might also grind your teeth when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. For whatever the reason, teeth grinding, left unchecked, causes tremendous damage. Our dental team in Woodbridge, VA, can repair grinding-related damage and help you alleviate the habit.

Teeth Grinding Q &A

Lake Ridge Dental Associates

What sort of damage can teeth grinding cause?

Occasion grinding of the teeth isn’t particularly harmful. But, if you’re a chronic teeth grinder, you can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and even your jaw: Teeth may become split, cracked, or broken, or show signs of excessive wear.

If you grind your teeth in excess, you may be looking at a future filled with crowns, fillings, implants, root canals or even dentures. Teeth grinding can also cause Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, or TMJ, jaw pain, and facial distortion.

How do I know if I'm a teeth grinder?

Even if you’re a teeth grinder, you may not be aware of it. The person who sleeps with you at night may be able to hear you grinding your teeth in your sleep, however. You’ll also likely awaken with a sore or tender jaw. Headaches can also be symptoms of teeth grinding, too.

If you think you may be grinding your teeth while sleeping but aren’t sure, book your appointment with Dr. Dost & Associates today. The experienced dental professionals who make up the practice are well acquainted with the symptoms of teeth grinding; and will  examine your teeth and jaw to make a proper diagnosis.

What can be done about teeth grinding?

Dr. Robert C. Dost & Associates has several options for alleviating the discomfort of teeth grinding, including designing an occlusal appliance — such as a night guard — while you sleep. A night guard fits over your top or bottom teeth and is worn at night to help prevent grinding. A mandibular advancement device may also be an option. This type of device works by repositioning your jaw at night while you’re sleeping.

Both products can help alleviate teeth grinding, and it’s important that you make a consultation with Dr. Dost & Associates so they can determine when and why you’re grinding your teeth. If it turns out that daytime stress or anxiety is the cause, you’ll have to make simple lifestyle changes to reduce their effects. Increasing the amount of exercise you get each day, taking up a relaxation technique — such as yoga or meditation — and reducing the stressors in your life are all excellent strategies for addressing teeth grinding.

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