Teeth grinding, a condition known as bruxism, affects millions of people. Yet, because most teeth grinding happens at night will asleep, many people may not be aware they suffer from this condition. In some cases, teeth grinding is loud enough to hear, especially by your sleeping partner. Other signs may include a dull headache or sore jaw when you wake. If left untreated, teeth grinding can cause a number of problems, including worsening TMD/TMJ symptoms, and even lead to tooth loss. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Pamela G. Doray can diagnose teeth grinding with a simple inspection of the teeth.
What Causes Teeth Grinding
- Stress or anxiety
- Sleep disorders
- Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
- Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Disease
Teeth Grinding Before & After Photos
Extensive teeth grinding, when left untreated, can lead to significant tooth wear or worn down teeth. Dr. Doray has completed a number of smile makeover procedures for patients that have chronic bruxism. After the smile makeover is complete, Dr. Doray creates a custom night guard to help protect the dental restorations from future wear and grinding.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
There are a few at-home treatments for teeth grinding. These include: avoiding caffeine, alcohol, avoiding chewing on anything that is not food, taking notice when you grind during the day and stopping, and relaxing your jaw at night by holding a warm washcloth to your jaw. If you are a serious teeth grinder, these remedies might not be enough. Stress is most likely the number one factor for your nightly grinding. In addition to your dental treatments, you should practice relaxation methods of your choice such yoga or daily exercise. It is important that you take the necessary steps to reduce stress and anxiety in their life to reduce the occurrences of teeth grinding.
Dr. Doray can fit a plastic guard to wear over your teeth while you sleep to align the teeth and prevent damaging your teeth and dental restorations. Night guards are simple, quick ways to minimize the effects of grinding. After your worn down teeth are corrected, it is very important to wear your night guard every night. In doing this, you are protecting your new dental restorations to ensure longevity.
Bite Correction Procedures
In some cases, you may need a bite correction procedure to stop teeth grinding. Dr. Doray may reshape the teeth by filing them down or applying porcelain veneers or dental crowns, to bring them into proper alignment. Other corrective measures may include orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign.
Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry to Repair Damage
Teeth grinding can cause serious damage to your teeth and should addressed as soon as possible. Doing this every night can leave teeth worn, chipped or broken and even affect the health of the gums. Repairing your teeth is imperative to your oral health and can give you back a healthy, functional smile. Dr. Doray can use dental crowns, dental veneers, or cosmetic bonding to repair your teeth.
Philadelphia based Dr. Doray is welcoming new and out of town patients. Call us at (215) 395-6076 , or schedule a consultation online.