Do you struggle with bruxism (chronic tooth clenching and grinding)? The reasons behind the disorder can vary, but they’re often painful. Fortunately, Arvada Dental Center can help.
Even if you don’t realize you’re clenching or grinding your teeth, we may be able to spot the early warning signs during your dental exam. Such as bite marks along the inside of your cheeks, prominent jaw muscles, or wear facets across the chewing surfaces throughout your mouth. You might even complain of frequent headaches.
Address the Cause of Bruxism
The first step in treating tooth clenching and grinding is to figure out the source of your habit or disorder.
For instance, are you exhibiting symptoms of a sleeping disorder? Obstructive sleep apnea can present itself via several symptoms, with teeth clenching being one of them. When our brains are sleep deprived, our jaws tend to shut tightly together and cause the teeth to wear down.
Stress and anxiety are other common causes of teeth clenching and grinding. Which can be harmful if you have new crown and bridgework or dental implants (Arvada, CO). By identifying your triggers or even with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy, you can better manage your stress to reduce joint tension and tooth damage.
You might even find that certain medications—especially stimulants—raise your chances of clenching and grinding. We’ll review your medication list with you to determine if there are any possible risks you didn’t know about.
Understand the Risks
What are some of the consequences of unmanaged bruxism?
TMJ Disorder: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a painful condition that can affect one or both of your jaw joints, just in front of either ear. The symptoms can include a limited range of motion, ear pain, or popping and clicking noises coming from your TMJ.
Flat, Worn, Broken Teeth: Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the entire body. But tooth-on-tooth wear is especially dangerous to your smile. Over time, clenching and grinding will ultimately wear out your teeth. Enamel will flatten out, chip away, or leave sharp edges where it fractures under pressure.
Damage to Dental Work: The tension of constantly clenching your teeth will also wear down your fillings, crowns, bridges, or dental implants in Colorado Springs. Arvada Dental Center will help you address your teeth grinding and restore your smile back to a healthy state.
Headaches and Migraines: When you’re constantly grinding your teeth and clenching your TMJ, the surrounding muscles feel the strain. This can lead to major headache issues (which might be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or feel stressed.)
Treatment for Teeth Clenching and Grinding
One of the most common solutions for managing and treating teeth clenching is the help of a bite splint or nightguard. These custom appliances are available at Arvada Dental Center and made from a mold of your smile for a secure and comfortable fit.
Bite splints create a small amount of space between your upper and lower teeth. This buffer zone prevents your TMJ and surrounding muscles from fully engaging. In turn, it also stops the upper and lower teeth from wearing against each other. Even though it’s possible to wear through a nightguard or bite splint—since it’s made out of acrylic—it’s easier and cheaper to replace these appliances than it is your natural smile!
Another option for managing bruxism is to use injectable medications, such as those that work as muscle relaxers. This can provide some pain relief, but it may take several weeks to take full effect. Prescription muscle relaxers are rarely used and only in severe cases.
Applying moist, warm heat to the side of your jaw and taking an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen/Motrin can help manage any soreness caused by teeth clenching.
Need Help From a Dental Team?
Arvada Dental Center offers comprehensive treatment strategies for people with missing and damaged teeth. Whether you’re considering dental implants (Arvada, CO) or need to address an issue such as bruxism, we can help.
For general dentistry near me, call our dentist in Arvada today.