Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which you unconsciously clench or gnash your teeth during the day or in your sleep. It can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw, especially if left untreated. Luckily, there are several things your Atlanta-area dentist can do to help you prevent damage and stop the grinding.
Regular dental care and cleanings are key to maintaining the health of your teeth no matter what. However, routine visits to your dentist are especially important if you grind your teeth. Many people who grind their teeth at night may not even realize they are doing so, and regular check-ups can help diagnose a problem you may not even know you have. If you are aware of your grinding, regular dental visits will allow your dentist to keep an eye on any symptoms and provide preventative care.
Mouth guards and splints
If your teeth grinding symptoms are severe, your dentist may recommend using a mouth guard or splint to reduce pain and prevent serious damage. Mouth guards are available over-the-counter or your dentist can fit you for one. Guards are cheaper than splints, which are made out of acrylic and molded exactly to your teeth, but they may not be as effective. Your dentist can help you decide which option is best. They can take some getting used to, but in the long run they can help save your teeth from damage and save you money in additional care.
Some cases of grinding are caused by misaligned teeth. If your symptoms are severe and causing you sensitivity or pain when chewing, your dentist may recommend reconstructive treatment to correct the surface and alignment of your teeth. These procedures can be expensive and may not result in completely stopping your teeth grinding.
Grinding is often caused by outside stresses. If stress is a factor, your dentist may recommend stress management or therapy in order to minimize your symptoms and prevent damage. Relaxation techniques, including meditation and exercise, can be helpful. Your dentist may also recommend cutting back on caffeine or alcohol use near bedtime.
If you suspect you are grinding your teeth, or suffer from any symptoms such as tooth sensitivity or jaw pain, a local dentist can help.
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