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 and Reston, VA, offer advanced diagnosis and treatment for teeth grinding and its effects on your smile. 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) to determine if there is dysfunction somewhere in the bite.
We use advanced technology, including the use of a Doppler device for listening to jaw sounds, to accurately diagnose the cause of your TMJ disorder. Digital x-rays and if necessary, an MRI scan 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 that can be noticed during routine dental exams or affect your daily quality of life:
- Worn teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Frequent headaches
- Jaw pain or tightness
Worn or damaged teeth are the most common signs of teeth grinding and are something we routinely look for during 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 will recommend TMJ treatment that is tailored to your unique oral health concerns, addressing any possible tooth damage or bite problems that have been diagnosed. Treatment options for teeth grinding can include:
- Mouth guards/splint therapy: a custom oral appliance that will reposition the teeth and jaw to prevent teeth grinding, a mouth guard 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 and leading to teeth grinding and other symtpoms of a TMJ disorder, 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 with one of the dentists at Ridgetop Dental. We have the technology, training and experience necessary to properly diagnose and treat complex bite disorders and teeth grinding.
To schedule your appointment, request an appointment online or call one of our two Northern VA office locations:
- Sterling: (703) 520-7410
- Reston: (571) 313-7010