Teeth grinding is a dental problem that many people experience. Not surprisingly, people have misconceptions about the causes of teeth grinding, the problems that it can cause, and how it can be treated. We would like to go over some of the basics about teeth grinding and its dangers right now. By knowing the causes, symptoms, and dangers, you are more likely to consult with an Orange County cosmetic dentist and get the help that you need sooner rather than later.
About Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding refers to the gnawing, clenching, and gnashing of teeth at night when a person sleeps. Clenching can also occur during daytime, but this nocturnal clenching is especially problematic.
Common Causes of Teeth Grinding
Many believe that stress is the primary cause of teeth grinding, which is actually incorrect. While stress can contribute to teeth grinding, the most common cause of this problem that our cosmetic dentist serving Orange County notices is actually maloclussion/tooth misalignment. When the teeth are improperly aligned, the jaw cannot find a good resting position, resulting in chomping and shifting. This places strain on the jaw and other structures of the mouth.
TMJ Disorders and Teeth Grinding
Since the grinding of the teeth places stress on the jaw, it’s no surprise that teeth grinding can result in a TMJ disorder. The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is one of the most complicated joints in the entire body, and damage to the jaw can lead to clicking, popping, and locking.
Tooth Damage and Teeth Grinding
In addition to causing TMJ disorders, teeth grinding can also cause damage to the teeth. Very violent teeth grinding can result in chips, cracks, and even full breaks in tooth structure. It’s for these reasons that you need to take teeth grinding very seriously and seek treatment should you notice any jaw strain or tooth pain/damage in the morning.
Treating Teeth Grinding
There are three common treatments for teeth grinding itself:
- A Night Guard – A night guard is a mouthpiece that patents wear at when they sleep. This bite guard will help prevent the teeth from coming into contact, reducing wear on the teeth and strain on the jaw in the process.
- Orthodontic Care – For malocclusion, the best treatment is to undergo orthodontic care. Braces, headgear, and other appliances can really enhance your dental health.
- Relaxation Techniques – If stress is contributing to a case of teeth grinding, patients should consider various stress relief methods (deep breathing, yoga, etc.) to reduce clenching and grinding.
Treating the Damage Caused by Teeth Whitening
As far as treating the damage caused by teeth grinding, sometimes it’s best to undergo a series of different restorative treatments at our practice serving Orange County. Full mouth reconstruction treatment may be just what you need to have a healthy smile again.
Schedule a Consultation for Dental Care Treatments
If you would like to learn more about treating teeth grinding and your many other options for achieving excellent dental health, be sure to contact our Orange cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health and general wellness.