What you need to know about teeth grinding and clenching

best dentists in PlanoIf you’ve been waking up with unexplained headaches or noticed unusual wear and tear on your teeth, you may be suffering from a condition called bruxism. Patients with bruxism grind or clench their teeth, often without even realizing it. The activity frequently occurs while patients are sleeping.

Patients may grind or clench their teeth for a number of reasons, including stress and malocclusions, or misaligned jaws. The action results in symptoms such as facial pain, worn teeth, tooth sensitivity and morning headaches. The patient’s sleeping partner may also alert the patient to the problem. When present, those signs can help the best dentists in Plano diagnose bruxism.

If you’ve exhibited symptoms of bruxism, it’s best to consult a dentist for treatment because the problem can be addressed. The solution often consists of wearing a custom-made mouthguard or a splint at night. The device is intended to keep the mouth in a position that keeps the teeth from meeting.

When the mouthguard is designed by a dentist and tailored to a patient’s unique specifications, it fits better and is more effective than boil-and-bite varieties that can be bought in a store.

Alternatively, if the source of the bruxism lies in misaligned jaws, patients may need to seek orthodontic treatment to eliminate tooth grinding.

If left untreated, bruxism can lead to various complications, such as temporomandibular joint disorders or sleep disruptions. Severe damage to the teeth may result in a need for expensive and extensive restorations.

In addition to dental treatment, your dentist may also recommend behavioral adjustments, such as stress management techniques or avoiding substances, like caffeine and alcohol, which may trigger an episode of teeth grinding. Other interventions that may be effective in relieving stress include regular exercise and massaging the affected joint.

Have you noticed signs that you are grinding your teeth? If so, schedule an evaluation with our top dentists to learn about the treatment options available to you.