Posted on 11/10/2019 by Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group
|Many millions of people grind or clench their teeth. This act is also known as bruxism. Some do it while awake (awake bruxism) while others do it in their sleep (sleep bruxism).
It is believed that stress and anxiety are the most common cause of bruxism. Typical side effects include sore jaws and constant headaches. In worse cases, the enamel of the teeth can be worn down and things like bridges or crowns can be destroyed and need replacing. Most people are unaware of the damage they are causing, and some people are unaware that they clench at all due to doing it in their sleep.
DiagnosisA dentist can generally spot the effects of bruxism early on. These telltale signs include cracks in the enamel, teeth that are wearing down, chipped teeth, or teeth that are starting to feel loose. Also, be sure to tell the dentist if you experience any soreness in your jaws, indentations on your tongue, or headaches that radiate from the jaw out to the ears. Clenching can bring on a whole host of dental issues that could cost a lot of time and money in the long run. If caught early treatment options can be more economical and pain-free.
Treatment OptionsThe easiest and most cost-effective option is a mouth guard or splint. Essentially a piece of polyurethane that does not stop the act of clenching, but it does reduce the amount of damage caused by it. If the bruxism is caused by misaligned teeth, then braces or retainers may be needed to straighten the teeth out. If the wearing down of teeth is so severe then fillings or crowns might be needed to repair them.
If you suspect you may be wearing your teeth down due to bruxism call our office today to schedule your consultation. We would be happy to take a look and discuss the treatment options available to you.