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Posted on Sep 5, 2014 in Teeth Grinding, TMJ Treatment

Do you or a loved one grind teeth at night?

teeth-grinding-treatment-fort-worth-texas

Teeth Grinding Treatment Fort Worth Texas

Clenching or grinding your teeth is called bruxism. People can clench and grind without being aware of it. It can happen while awake or while sleeping, although sleep-related bruxism is often a bigger problem because it is harder to control.

Stress, it’s now believed, is the major cause of grinding and clenching your teeth, according to dental researchers. In the past, a malocclusion (the way your teeth fit together) got the blame, and dentists would grind the teeth down, trying to readjust the bite.
Factors that influence whether or not bruxism causes pain and other problems will vary from person to person. They may include:

  • Stress level
  • How long and tightly you clench and grind
  • Malocclusion (whether your teeth are misaligned)
  • Posture
  • Ability to relax
  • Diet
  • Sleeping habits

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding & Clenching

Clenching the teeth puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw. The symptoms can cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ).

Grinding can wear down your teeth. It can be noisy enough at night to bother sleeping partners.
Symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Depression
  • Ear congestion
  • Eating disorders
  • Headache
  • Muscle tenderness, especially in the morning
  • Hot, cold, or sweet sensitivity in the teeth
  • Insomnia
  • Sore or painful jaw

Treatment for Teeth Grinding

The goals of treatment are to reduce pain, prevent permanent damage to the teeth, and reduce clenching as much as possible.
To prevent damage to the teeth, mouth guards or appliances (splints) are often used to treat teeth grinding, clenching, and TMJ disorders. A splint may help protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching.

Finally, there have been many approaches to try to help people unlearn their clenching behaviors. These are more successful for daytime clenching.

Possible Complications from Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Bruxism is not a dangerous disorder. However, it can cause permanent damage to the teeth and uncomfortable jaw pain, headaches, or even ear pain.

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Increased dental or TMJ problems
  • Fractured teeth
  • Receding gums

Nightly grinding can awaken roommates or sleeping partners.

Please contact Dr. Brit Phillips your trusted dentist in Fort Worth Texas immediately if you are having trouble eating or opening your mouth. Keep in mind that a wide variety of possible conditions, from arthritis to whiplash injuries, can cause TMJ symptoms.