Do You Grind Your Teeth?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common dental concern that often occurs at night while asleep. For this reason, many patients are unaware that they clench or grind their teeth until they visit their dentist. Some patients notice teeth getting shorter or worn down. Worn teeth are the number-one sign of an untreated teeth grinding condition. Teeth grinding can not only affect the health of your teeth but it is also linked to complex bite disorders and Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ & TMD).
Dr. Abraham Stein provides patients with an in-depth examination, visual screening, and comprehensive bite analysis during every routine dental visit. Early intervention and comprehensive treatment for teeth grinding can prevent future complications and restore balance to your smile.
Treating Teeth Grinding in Skokie, IL
At The Stein Center for Advanced Dentistry, we provide comprehensive treatment plans for patients with TMJ disorders. During your consultation, Dr. Stein will discuss your symptoms and perform a complete dental evaluation to determine the best teeth grinding solution for you. Treatments may include one or more of the following solutions for teeth grinding:
- Orthodontics: For patients with crooked or misaligned teeth, we may recommend orthodontics to realign your teeth. Ask us about Invisalign treatment during your appointment.
- Restorative Dentistry: If you have experienced tooth damage as a result of tooth grinding, dental bonding, dental crowns, and other restorative dentistry treatments to repair your tooth.
- Mouthguards/Night Guard: A custom mouthguard or night guard can prevent the biting surfaces of your teeth from coming together and stop grinding.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Over time, teeth grinding can wear down the teeth and lead to pain, headaches, and other dental problems. Fortunately, our dentists can identify the causes of teeth grinding and address them promptly. If you notice symptoms like worn teeth, facial pain, or regular headaches, you may want to visit our office for a screening.
During your appointment, our team can look for signs of teeth grinding, uncover the underlying cause of your bruxism, and recommend the best plan of action. The causes of bruxism may include one or more of the following:
- Occlusion: One of the primary causes of teeth grinding is Occlusion, which is the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. If your bite is not properly aligned or your teeth are not forming a stable occlusion, then you may grind your teeth as a result. In this case, the solution is to visit our dentist and get a bite adjustment or a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Our skilled team performs diagnostic testing to determine if there is any dysfunction in your bite.
- Stress: The second factor is Stress. Stress can cause a physical response in your body, which can sometimes manifest itself as bruxism. It can cause us to clench or grind our teeth, and when we are in a heightened state of stress, it can become habitual. If stress is the cause of your grinding, then it’s important to address the underlining stressors in your life in order to reduce the bruxism. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or deep breathing can help to reduce stress levels and your teeth grinding issues.
- Other Reasons: Certain types of medication, medical movement disorders, and a combination of genetic, physiological, and physical factors can cause teeth grinding as well.
Common Signs of Teeth Grinding
Patients with bruxism are more prone to tooth damage, such as chipped teeth, broken or fractured teeth, and worn teeth. In addition to tooth damage, tooth grinding can also cause the following chronic symptoms:
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Popping or clicking of the jaw
- Pain or discomfort when moving the jaw
- Painful chewing
- Tooth sensitivity
- Recurring headaches
- Worn, flattened, or fractured teeth
- Sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures
- Earaches or ringing in the ears
- Pain or tightness in facial muscles
- Indentations on the tongue
- Worn enamel on the teeth
In addition to these physical symptoms, teeth grinding can lead to fatigue and sleep disturbance. If you experience any of these signs and symptoms of teeth grinding, it may be time to seek out professional bruxism treatments.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Can dentists repair worn-down teeth?
Yes! Some people think that dentists can not repair worn-down teeth. This is not true! The truth is that dentists can restore enamel to its original appearance. After addressing teeth grinding issues, we provide many options for tooth repair including dental crowns, tooth bonding, and porcelain veneers.
Can you naturally stop teeth grinding?
Changing up your diet can prevent teeth grinding from occurring. Foods high in magnesium, such as almonds, spinach, bananas, fish, and peanut butter are all good for stopping teeth grinding. The magnesium in these foods helps relax muscle tissues and prevents jaw spasms.
How can I relax my jaw at night?
A great way to train yourself to not grind your teeth is to put your tongue in between both sets of teeth. This trains your jaw muscles to relax, so you do not bite your tongue. Holding a warm compress up against your cheek is another way to calm jaw muscles.
What vitamin deficiency causes teeth grinding?
Being deficient in calcium or magnesium has links to teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth, a great first step to stop is to increase your intake of these vitamins. You can take them in a supplement or find them in foods.
Request a Teeth Grinding Consultation
If you feel like you are grinding your teeth, it is important to identify the cause and take action to stop it. Eventually, the grinding can lead to tooth and jaw pain as well as other dental problems, so it is best to take action early to prevent any further damage.
The Stein Center for Advanced Dentistry provides personalized solutions for all of your dentistry needs. We proudly welcome patients in Skokie, Park Ridge, Northfield, Winnetka, and surrounding communities to visit our office to explore your treatment options for bruxism. To schedule an appointment, call 847.750.3125 or request an appointment online.