Do You Grind Your Teeth?

Have you ever awakened yourself in the middle of the night with a loud clenching or grinding sound?  If so, you may want to speak with your dentist regarding a condition called bruxism.  Bruxism is a habit of grinding or clenching the teeth.  Clenching means you tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together.  Grinding occurs when you slide your teeth back and forth over each other.  There are a few symptoms that are characteristic of bruxism.  People who suffer from bruxism may or may not experience the following.

  • Headache
  • Sore Jaw
  • Clenching or Grinding Teeth
  • Frequent Toothaches
  • Facial Pain
  • Worn or Fractured Tooth Enamel
  • Loose Teeth
  • Earache
  • Insomnia

How is bruxism treated?

Sleepright_night_guard2Night-guards are helpful for bruxism caused by sleep disorders, crooked or missing teeth or stress.  Custom-made by your dentist from soft material to fit your teeth, the night-guard slips over the upper and lower teeth and prevents contact between them.  It helps relieve some of the pressure of grinding or clenching, which can damage delicate jaw joints.

Treatment for those with abnormal bite may involve reducing the “high spots” on one or more teeth.  For serious cases, your dentist may suggest reshaping or reconstructing the biting surfaces with inlays or crowns.

The pain from bruxism can be relieved by paying attention to the symptoms, frequent dental visits and good communication with your dentist.