Frequent headaches and worn and broken teeth can be caused by several factors, but one of the most common sources is teeth grinding, clinically called “bruxism.” Many people don’t realize that they grind their teeth as it often happens while they are sleeping, but it can also happen throughout the day. Dentists like Pinehurst, NC dentists Drs. Monroe & Monroe can easily identify teeth grinding and help you with ways to stop it and its side effects.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
Tooth grinding and jaw clenching often indicate an issue with your bite, which is a way of referring to the alignment of your teeth. People who suffer from tooth grinding or clenching often have uneven bites, such as an underbite or overbite.
Teeth grinding is also commonly associated with stress, whether from your own personal or environmental factors or stress inside the mouth and jaw from an unresolved dental problem. When your teeth, jaw and the intricate system of muscles in the mouth and neck aren’t working properly, it can create tension which can result in headaches, facial pain, and teeth grinding.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
Dentists can usually easily identify signs of teeth grinding, such as:
- Worn or dull teeth, especially chips or flat spots
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain
- Frequent headaches
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
How to Stop Teeth Grinding
The most frequently given advice is to reduce your stress levels, which may help you stop grinding your teeth, but if that stress is coming from a dental issue inside the mouth, it is out of your control. At that point, you’ll need other ways to help stop teeth grinding. Often, stress reduction and occlusal appliances are combined to treat bruxism.
There are a few different options available in the form of occlusal appliances to prevent tooth grinding. You might be familiar with night guards, which are a type of occlusal appliance. These appliances are custom-fitted to your mouth and designed to fit over the top or bottom teeth to stop nighttime teeth grinding.
For more severe cases of bruxism, your dentist may recommend mandibular advancement devices, which are designed to bring the jaw forward when the dentist suspects a sleep disorder is causing the problem. These devices are sometimes called “snore guards” and help align the jaw during sleep to help with sleep apnea or snoring.
Bruxism Treatment in Pinehurst, NC
Teeth grinding can damage teeth and cause discomfort, so it’s important to seek treatment if you think you may be grinding your teeth. Drs. Monroe & Monroe is a full-service dental office in Pinehurst, NC that can help you put an end to bruxism and keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Call 910.420.3670 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.