Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can result in permanent tooth damage. Fortunately, our team can help you discover the cause of your bruxism and put a treatment plan in place to stop this harmful habit.
Bruxism is a condition that many people don’t realize they have. But if you’ve ever woken up with a headache, sore jaw, or aching teeth, it’s possible that you grind your teeth at night while asleep. Bruxism can also happen while you’re awake, especially in times of stress and anxiety.
What Causes Bruxism?
The causes of bruxism can be as simple as chronic stress and as complex as genetics. People who have a family member with bruxism are more likely to grind their teeth. Certain medications, such as psychiatric medications, can also contribute to bruxism.
Research also suggests that drugs, alcohol, and even caffeine can influence your risk for bruxism. Teeth grinding has also been associated with medical disorders including epilepsy, sleep apnea, and even gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and dementia.
Your dentist can help you determine the underlying cause of your bruxism and help you put a plan in place to treat it!
How Teeth Grinding Can Affect Your Smile
Teeth grinding puts immense pressure on your teeth, up to 10 times the pressure exerted while chewing your food. Because most people do this unconsciously, they don’t realize the damage they’re doing to their teeth and gums. However, your dentist can see signs of tooth enamel damage and gum inflammation during your regular oral exam.
Oral health problems that can happen as a result of bruxism include:
- Broken teeth
- Cracks or chips in the tooth enamel
- Gum inflammation
- Receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues
If your teeth grinding is severe and happens often enough, the damage that it causes to your teeth and gums can eventually cause your teeth to feel loose and fall out. Treating bruxism is essential to preventing damage to your smile and keeping your teeth strong and healthy for life!
Effective Treatment for Bruxism
The good news is that many cases of bruxism can be treated with non-invasive techniques. For example, many times stress reduction can help patients resolve their bruxism. For others, unlearning this behavior can require more involved therapies.
However, until you discover the root cause of your bruxism with a professional dentist, it’s imperative to take steps to stop the damage now. Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers custom mouthguards which are designed to be worn at night to stop damage from bruxism.
These high-quality mouthguards absorb the pressure your jaw exerts during bruxism and cushion your teeth against these forces, therefore preventing damage to your teeth and gums and protecting your smile.
Since they’re custom-made, these mouthguards are comfortable to wear and won’t impact your breathing or quality of sleep. Instead, you’ll wake up in the morning without the problems tension from bruxism can cause, such as headaches and a sore jaw or teeth!
Don’t Ignore the Signs of Teeth Grinding!
Are you experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding? If so, it’s time to schedule an appointment to see if you could be grinding your teeth and not know it. Contact us at Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with us at (703) 831-3952!