Has someone told you they can hear you grinding your teeth while you sleep? Do you catch yourself clenching your jaw during the day? If so, you may have bruxism. This condition is quite common and it’s a good idea to seek diagnosis and treatment. Doing so will protect your teeth and relieve symptoms of discomfort. It may also be the right way to address underlying temporomandibular joint disorder.
To learn more, please call Flatrock Family Dentistry in Greenville at 864-373-0125.
What Is Bruxism?
If you have bruxism, it means you grind and clench your teeth. You may do this while you sleep at night, unknowingly during the day, or both.
What Causes People To Grind Their Teeth?
The causes of bruxism aren’t always clear. We know the risk factors include:
- Family history of bruxism
- Sleep habits
- Certain medications
- Certain underlying health conditions
You may want to work with your doctor to dig into the possibilities of why you grind and clench your teeth. As for the dental ramifications, our dentists are here to help you restore your teeth and find treatment options that prevent bruxism.
What Happens If Teeth Grinding Goes Untreated?
You should always treat teeth grinding because it can lead to:
- Worn teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Sore jaws
- Facial soreness
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
- Broken or cracked fillings, dental crowns, and dental implants
Depending on how bad the condition is, you may be able to find relief through stress management techniques.
How Can Bruxism Be Treated?
It depends. As dentists, we consider the following treatments:
- Custom mouth guards worn over the teeth at night
- Repair of damaged teeth and dental restorations
If you work with a doctor, they may recommend stress management, treatment of underlying health or sleep disorders, and other methods for treating bruxism at its source.
What Can Be Done To Prevent Bruxism From Developing?
Every person will have unique factors contributing to teeth grinding and clenching, but here are some options for preventing the condition:
- Get a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding while you sleep
- Incorporate self-care, meditation, exercise, healthy diet, good sleep, and other lifestyle habits that will reduce stress in your life
- Have awareness of when you are clenching your teeth in traffic, at work, and at other times and remind yourself to relax your jaw
- Avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages in the hours before bedtime
- Avoid alcohol in the couple of hours before bedtime
- Ask your doctor if bruxism is a side effect of any of your current medications
- Ask your doctor if bruxism is a symptom of any of your current health conditions
- Take steps to manage stress at the workplace
We provide custom options after you meet with our dentists for an exam and consultation.
How Can I Take Steps At Home To Stop Grinding My Teeth?
Some of the measures listed above can be performed at home, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and incorporating more exercise and self-care into your routine.
You mustn’t try to improvise a dental intervention, and we certainly do not recommend over-the-counter or DIY mouth guards. When you receive a custom mouth guard from an experienced dentist, you can rest assured that it is designed to fit your teeth for adequate protection and is made from safe, medical-grade materials that won’t damage your oral health.
Schedule A Bruxism Consultation In Greenville, SC!
If you live in or around the Greenville area in South Carolina, please arrange a bruxism consultation with the dentists at Flatrock Family Dentistry by calling 864-373-0125. You can also fill out our appointment request form by clicking here for your consultation with Dr. Rouse and Dr. Crosland! Bruxism can be bad for your dental health, the appearance of your teeth, and the structure of your teeth. Our experienced dentists will help you find a solution to teeth grinding.