Many patients grind their teeth or clench their jaw during sleep or times of stress- often unknowingly. While common, teeth grinding can sometimes be the symptom of a bite problem that is placing stress on the jaw joints. Known as TMJ, for the name of the joint, bite dysfunction can have both many causes and many effects on your dental health.
Dr. Datta Malyavantham and his associates at Ridgetop Dental in Sterling VA, offers advanced diagnosis and treatment for teeth grinding. Known clinically as bruxism, teeth grinding can be successfully treated after a thorough evaluation of all parts of the occlusal system (gums, teeth and jaw joints). This will help us determine if there is dysfunction somewhere in the bite.
We use advanced technology to accurately diagnose the cause, and provide TMJ disorder treatments. Using a Doppler device for listening to jaw sounds, digital x-rays, and an MRI scan if necessary will enhance our understanding of the structure of your occlusal system so that we can pinpoint any dysfunction.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
Although you may not be aware that you are grinding or clenching your teeth, there are several signs and symptoms of bruxism. We look for the signs during routine dental exams:
- Worn down teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Frequent headaches
- Jaw pain or tightness
- Diminished enamel and increase in tooth sensitivity
- If the grinding is loud enough to wake up your partner
Worn or damaged teeth are the most common signs of teeth grinding. While you may not notice your teeth are damaged, a dentist can easily spot it. We routinely look for these signs during your preventive care visits. Treating teeth grinding early can avoid extensive tooth damage or even loss, in addition to its effects on gum health and the function of the jaw joints.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
We provide TMJ treatment that is tailored to your unique oral health concerns. We will address any possible tooth damage or bite problems that have been diagnosed. Treatment options for teeth grinding can include:
- Mouthguards / splint therapy: a custom oral appliance that will reposition the teeth and jaw to prevent teeth grinding, a mouthguard is the most conservative approach to treating bruxism.
- Bite equilibration: balancing the bite through restorative dentistry can realign the way the teeth make contact and allow the jaw to move naturally. This can include dental crowns, bonding and other treatments that can adjust the shape of the teeth.
- Orthodontics: if misaligned teeth are causing your bite to be out of balance, we may recommend Invisalign or traditional orthodontics to straighten your teeth.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are concerned that you may be grinding or clenching your teeth, or suffer with any of the common signs of a bite disorder, schedule a consultation at Ridgetop Dental. We have the technology, training, and experience necessary to properly diagnose and treat complex bite disorders and teeth grinding.
Don’t let it affect your daily quality of life, request an appointment online or call one of our two Northern VA office locations for an evaluation and treatment.