Bruxism, more widely known as teeth grinding, affects millions of people. Because most people grind their teeth at night, many are not aware that they have the condition until it is identified during a dental exam or more serious symptoms begin to develop. Over time if left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to tooth damage, TMJ related disorders and discomfort as a result of muscle tension in the jaw.
One of the quickest and most effective treatments for teeth grinding is a custom night guard. Many people can curb teeth grinding by practicing better dietary habits or relaxation methods, but for those who experience severe teeth grinding, Fox Lake dentist Dr. Thomas Prendergast has the expertise and resources to address your symptoms and help you restore your dental health.
What causes teeth grinding?
Approximately 10–15% of Americans moderately to severely grind their teeth. There are several different reasons people grind their teeth:
- Stress or anxiety
- Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
- Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Disease
How do I know if I am grinding my teeth?
- Worn, flattened, fractured or chipped teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tooth sensitivity
- Jaw pain or tightness in the jaw muscles
- Headache or Earache
- Facial pain
- Damaged tissue on the inside of your cheek
If you notice any of the above symptoms come in for a visit and dental exam. Dr. Prendergast can identify the signs of teeth grinding and work with you to develop a treatment plan designed to address concerns and repair teeth if necessary.
Teeth Grinding Treatment in Fox Lake
Some people find relief from teeth grinding from a few at-home remedies:
- Cut back on foods with caffeine
- Avoid alcohol
- Do not chew on anything that is not food, such as pens, pencils, etc.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm compress to the area
Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding
If you are still experiencing teeth grinding, Dr. Prendergast can custom fit a mouth guard for you. This mouth guard is worn at night and is custom made to fit over your teeth and prevent them from coming into contact with each other and grinding. A mouth guard will also be designed to reposition the jaw and allow the muscles to relax in a natural position.