Ever catch yourself grinding your teeth? If so, you’re not alone. About 30-40 million Americans suffer from severe teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. While catching yourself clenching your teeth on rare occasions is common, consistent teeth grinding can cause unwanted problems for your oral health. At White Dental in Holly Ridge, NC, we can help you understand why you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, and we can offer solutions to help prevent damage caused.
Understanding Bruxism – What’s Happening When You Grind Your Teeth?
Your teeth are remarkably hard. It may be easy to think that they can sustain a lot of damage from clenching and grinding your teeth. But the outer layer of your teeth, known as the enamel, takes irreparable damage when you grind your teeth. This enamel doesn’t grow back naturally. And once it’s gone, the other layers of your teeth can sustain damage as well. Furthermore, patients with fillings or other dental work can damage it by clenching teeth. As teeth grinding becomes more frequent, symptoms grow more noticeable and severe.
Know The Causes Of Teeth Clenching & Grinding
The causes of bruxism can be split into two major categories: Daytime and nocturnal. Still other causes may involve another disease or medication that leads to bruxism. Learn more about the differences between bruxism that are experienced during the day versus bruxism at night.
For those who grind their teeth during the daytime, stress is most often the culprit. One often misunderstood fact is that that stress doesn’t have to be negative. People with bruxism may be just as likely to grind their teeth before a big speech at work as they are while waiting to order at their favorite restaurant. It’s important to be aware if stress is causing you to grind your teeth before symptoms of bruxism jeopardize your oral health.
Some people grind their teeth at night without even realizing it, resulting in a condition known as nocturnal bruxism. This can be caused by stress or a dental abnormality. The damage of clenching and grinding teeth at night can wreak havoc on your enamel. Fortunately, highly effective treatments are available for helping patients who suffer from nocturnal bruxism.
Night guards are the primary treatment for those who show signs of nocturnal bruxism. Similar in design to a mouth guard, a night guard is designed to prevent the teeth from contacting each other throughout the night. Plus, night guards minimize the pressure put on the jaw, reducing soreness and pain.
For those who grind their teeth while awake, stress therapy may be the most effective treatment. Since stress is so closely linked to daytime bruxism, reducing stress is virtually guaranteed to reduce your symptoms. This means that stress reducing activities like meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, and other activities that lead to relaxation can be effective for reducing instances of bruxism.
REPAIRING DAMAGE DONE BY BRUXISM
If you’ve suffered from bruxism for years and are just seeking help, it’s important to know that there’s a lot that can be done to help repair the damage. One popular example is composite bonding. While bruxism can severely damage your enamel, composite bonding is a method of strengthening the teeth and restoring your smile. Crowns or veneers may also be used to restore a natural looking smile for patients with severe bruxism. Talk to Dr. White about your exact situation, and he’ll explain the treatment options that may be most effective for your unique case.
Visit White Dental For Teeth Clenching Solutions
While some dental issues are simple, teeth grinding and clenching can have different causes for different patients. Luckily, our treatments are extremely effective at treating the disorder regardless of the cause. Visit us today, and let Dr. White examine your specific condition. He’ll assess your oral health and design a treatment plan that puts your needs first.
Contact us today to set up an appointment!