May 16th, 2014
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a detrimental oral habit common in both children and adults, which is often experienced as a result of stress and anxiety. However, in some cases, misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite can cause teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can occur throughout the day, yet individuals often grind their teeth unknowingly during sleep. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that can lead to bruxism. Symptoms of teeth grinding include jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, headaches, chipped teeth, earaches, as well as facial pain.
Habitual teeth grinding damages the surfaces of teeth, deteriorates tooth enamel, and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Teeth grinding can also cause temporomandibular disorders (TMD). If this bad oral health habit is not stopped, implants, root canals, crowns, and even partial dentures may be needed in order to fix the damages.
Yet, there is no need to worry! Teeth grinding is treatable, commonly with the use of custom-fit nightguards. Custom nightguards can help prevent further dental damage by helping stop your jaws from clamping and teeth from clenching. Custom nightguards are created to personally fit your lower and upper teeth, making them flexible and comfortable to wear. Nightguards not only protect your teeth, but also eliminate the chattering sound that can disturb one’s sleep. Nightguards can be purchased over-the-counter at a local pharmacy, however, are more suitable and protective when custom-made by a dentist.
Along with wearing a nightguard, here are a few other tips to help prevent the adverse effects of teeth grinding:
- Reduce your stress levels. Participate in activities that make you happy. Wheter it is exercising, listening to your favorite music, or reading a book before going to sleep, try to eliminate tensions that arise throughout the day.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Sodas, chocolate, coffee, and other caffeinated foods and beverages are believed to increase the likelihood of teeth grinding. They can also be poor dietary choices for your oral and phsycial health!
- Relax your jaw muscles. Try keeping your jaw muscles relaxed by gently pressing a warm washcloth against your cheek. Avoid chewing ice, pencils, gum, and other objects that involve strenuous chewing.
- Become more aware of the habit. Train yourself to avoid teeth grinding by positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
Listen out during the night to make sure that your children are not grinding their teeth during their sleep. If your teeth are misaligned, braces may be a good corrective measure to eliminate the poor habit of teeth grinding. It is important to practice good oral health habits to keep your teeth healthy and your smile healthy!
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.