What to Do If You Grind Your Teeth

Jaw pain Sterling, VA dentistDo you often wake up with headaches, jaw pain, or feel like your teeth have been pushed forward? Teeth grinding, clinically called “bruxism,” is a common problem that many people don’t realize can pose serious problems to your teeth. Dr. Datta Malyavantham leads Ridgetop Dental, a leading dental practice in Sterling, VA helping patients deal with teeth grinding and achieve healthy smiles.

Why Do I Grind My Teeth?

People who suffer from bruxism often have an uneven bite, which refers to the alignment of your teeth. Tooth grinding and jaw clenching may indicate that the teeth are not properly aligned, causing uneven wear and tear on the teeth.

Teeth grinding is also commonly associated with stress, whether from personal environmental stressors or a physical problem with the mouth and jaw. When the intricate system of muscles in the mouth, jaw, and neck aren’t working properly, no amount of relaxation and stress reduction will make the problem disappear. Tension caused by a dental problem needs to be evaluated and treated by an experienced dentist.

Signs of Teeth Grinding

Dentists can usually easily identify signs of teeth grinding, such as:

  • Worn or dull teeth, especially chips or flat spots
  • Sensitive teeth, especially where the teeth often rub together
  • Facial pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Cuts or sores on the inside cheek

How to Stop Teeth Grinding

A lot of advice suggests reducing your stress levels, which may help you stop grinding your teeth, but if that stress is inside the mouth and out of your control, you’ll need other ways to help stop teeth grinding. Often, stress reduction and occlusal appliances are combined to treat bruxism.

There are a few different options available in the form of occlusal appliances. You might be familiar with night guards, which are a type of occlusal appliance. These are custom-fitted to each patient’s mouth and designed to fit over the top or bottom teeth to stop nighttime teeth grinding.

For more severe cases, your dentist may recommend mandibular advancement devices, which are designed to bring the jaw forward when the dentist suspects a sleep disorder is causing the problem. These devices are often referred to as “snore guards,” which help align the jaw during sleep to help with sleep apnea or snoring.

Bruxism Treatment in Northern Virginia

Teeth grinding can damage teeth and keep you from living a pain-free life, so it’s important to seek treatment if you grind your teeth. Dr. Datta’s team at Ridgetop Dental is a full-service dental office that can help you put an end to bruxism and keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (703) 520-7410 today.

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