Here at Central Dental Care, patients throughout Jefferson City can rely on us for knowledgeable and helpful general dentistry care, with a focus on total wellness and smile aesthetics. We want your smile to be as healthy as possible and look great as well. One dental health issue that comes up a fair amount among patients is teeth grinding. Let's look at the condition and how teeth grinding can be successfully treated.
Teeth grinding refers to the gnashing, clenching, and shifting of the teeth that occurs when a person is asleep. The first signs of teeth grinding tend to be tooth pain, jaw pain, earaches, and headaches when a person wakes up. More serious symptoms can develop if the condition goes untreated.
The most common causes of teeth grinding include excessive stress or anxiety, poor dental alignment, or a combination of these issues. With regard to stress, people may clench their teeth at night as a sign of this stress. With regard to poor dental alignment, when the teeth are not properly aligned, the teeth are prone to continually shift position as a response.
Apart from causing aches and pains, teeth grinding can lead to cracks, chips, and other kinds of structural damage to the teeth. Gum recession is also a possibility since the stress on the teeth will also affect the stability of the gumline. The forces applied to the jaw joint can also lead to a TMJ disorder occurring, which refers to dysfunctions of the jaw joint and its full range of motion.
Undergoing treatment for teeth grinding is crucial for lasting dental wellness. The three common treatments are:
Combinations of two or all three of the above are not uncommon to address the problem of teeth grinding.
One of the most common treatments for teeth grinding is the use of a bite guard. Also known as a night guard, this is a protective retainer that is worn while a patient is asleep. The bite guard will prevent direct contact between the teeth of the upper dental arch and the teeth of the lower dental arch, reducing stress on the teeth and gums as well as on the jaw joint.
Even as an adult, you can still undergo orthodontic care. In fact, many patients who suffer from TMJ disorders are able to have their issues addressed thanks to orthodontic treatment. Properly aligning the teeth creates a proper rest position for the dental arches and makes grinding less likely.
When excessive stress causes or contributes to a case of teeth grinding, learning different stress management techniques and strategies can go a long way towards preventing teeth grinding or reducing the severity of the teeth grinding. Breathing exercises, regular workouts, stretching, and changes in your diet can all make a major difference when it comes to cutting back on the stress.
For more information about treating teeth grinding and other advanced dental care matters, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. At Central Dental Care, we will work closely with you to ensure that you receive the treatment that you need to smile with confidence.