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Symptoms, Effects & Treatment for Teeth Grinding

Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner

Teeth are an important asset to us. They give us confidence when they are healthy, white, and straight. Teeth allow us to have more variety with food consumption, among other benefits. There are many different conditions, diseases, medications, even neglect that can affect our teeth for better or worse. Teeth grinding or Bruxism, actually is more common than most think. We at Leaver and Gardner Orthodontics would like to expound on Bruxism to help you understand it more clearly for yourself or a loved one.

Reasons for Teeth Grinding

For starters, let’s get into why many folks are prone to grinding their teeth. There are a few more common reasons as to why people grind their teeth, which usually occurs while they are deep in their slumber.
– Stress and anxiety are probably the most common reason as to why folks grind their teeth.
– Abnormal bite, missing teeth, or crooked teeth could be the blame.
– Sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders can also induce a person into teeth grinding.

Symptoms of Bruxism

Since most folks are unaware of the condition, being they are normally grinding their teeth in their sleep, the grinding may not be recognized. A few telltale symptoms are; jaw soreness, regular headaches, and a significant other or roommate hears the grinding during the night.

Effects of Teeth Grinding in Sleep

Teeth grinding is considered a harmful condition as it could become a chronic affair leading to teeth fracturing or loosening, loss of teeth, or wearing a tooth or teeth down to a nub requiring crowns, bridges, root canals, implants, and in extreme instances; partial dentures or full dentures. Additionally, you may alter the appearance in your face, as well as cause the TMD/TMJ disorder, or if you already have it, teeth grinding can make it worse.

How to Stop Grinding Teeth at Night

– Finding therapy or counseling to reduce your stress and/or anxiety.
– Have your orthodontist fit your mouth for a sleeping mouth guard.
– Avoid caffeine consumption, especially close to bed time.
– Minimize consuming alcohol as alcohol is linked to teeth grinding.
– Do not chew gum, or non food items like pen caps or erasers.
– Train your jaw to relax when you clench your teeth or grind them in your waking hours by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
– Just before bed, place a warm wash cloth on the outside or your jaw, just where it meets with the earlobe.

Children Teeth Grinding Sleep

Teeth grinding is not only a problem for adults, but children can easily be inflicted. Up to 33% of kids have teeth grinding problems. In most cases, children are prone to teeth grinding when their teeth come in and again when the permanent teeth emerge. If you believe your child is among them, resolve any issues that might inflict stress, relax your child before bed time, and ensure you’re a healthy diet and plenty of water consumption. If the problem persists, contact your orthodontist.

Jaw & Teeth Alignment

At Leaver and Gardner Orthodontics, we have tended to multiple teeth and jaw issues in children, teens and adults regarding any number of problems that can contribute to improper teeth alignment and jaw problems; bruxism being among them. If you feel you are in need of an orthodontist for your dental development, contact us today to schedule your appointment.