If you are one of the millions of people who grind their teeth, you already know that it is more than simply an annoying habit. Whether you grind your teeth when you are angry or stressed, unconsciously while you are asleep, or a combination of the two, you have probably noticed the toll it has taken on your oral health. Fortunately, modern restorative dentistry offers a number of potentially ideal solutions to chronic bruxism, the clinical name for the condition of constant teeth grinding.
At Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico in Albuquerque, teeth grinding prevention and treatment can be discussed in detail during confidential, one-on-one consultations. During these consultations, Dr. Byron W. Wall gathers information about patients’ medical histories and lifestyles, followed by a thorough examination of their mouths, jaws, and necks. Based on this examination and the data he collects, along with the individual patient’s symptoms, he prescribes a treatment plan uniquely designed to meet his or her needs.
Why do you grind your teeth?
The answer to this question will heavily influence your treatment plan. In some cases, a single cause of teeth grinding can be pinpointed; in others, several causes come into play. Unfortunately, there are cases in which no clear causes present themselves. Even in those cases, however, treatments are available.
The most common cause of teeth grinding is stress. People who internalize their stress or who do not release their stress in healthy or timely ways may find themselves releasing it without their realizing it, with teeth grinding being one of the most common means of doing so. Many, but not all, of these people grind their teeth during their sleep, often waking up to jaw and neck pain. Over time, this teeth grinding will eventually result in damage to the teeth and gums.
Other common causes of teeth grinding include misalignment of the teeth, bite problems (malocclusion), and sleep disturbances.
Preventing and Treating Teeth Grinding
Once Dr. Wall has diagnosed your chronic bruxism and its causes, he will recommend a treatment plan. If no cause can be pinpointed, he will recommend the treatment plan most likely to yield the best results. Your treatment plan may include one or several of the following treatments depending on the causes and severity of your teeth grinding:
- Lifestyle changes: For some people, lifestyle changes alone bring about an end to their bruxism. Relaxation and stress reduction techniques, meditation, and time management strategies can all significantly reduce stress. Others find that such changes as reduced alcoholic consumption, quitting smoking, and improvements in diet and exercise are useful.
- Orthodontic treatment: For patients whose bruxism can be attributed to bite problems or misalignment, orthodontic treatment can help to improve both oral health and problems with teeth grinding.
- Neuromuscular dentistry: Teeth grinding and TMJ disorder are often comorbid conditions. Using sophisticated neuromuscular dentistry techniques, including the Myomonitor™, which relaxes the jaw and allows Dr. Wall to identify the ideal position of the jaw, we can treat both conditions at once.
- Mouthguard therapy: A custom mouth guard can prevent people who grind their teeth during their sleep from damaging their teeth and hurting their jaws while helping them to get a good night’s rest.
Learn More about Teeth Grinding Prevention and Treatment
To learn more about teeth grinding prevention and treatment, please contact Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico today.