What is Tooth Grinding?
Tooth grinding (or bruxism in doctor-speak) is a common behavior among people of all ages. It is when a person involuntarily clenches their jaw or rubs their teeth together. Tooth grinding can occur during the day or night and can affect kids and adults. Some men and women grind their teeth intermittently when they are going through periods of unusual stress. For other individuals, it becomes a habit over a period of time.
Regardless of the cause, tooth grinding can be painful and damaging to your smile. It can also have a long-term impact on physical and mental health.
The Dangers of Teeth Grinding
- It can lead to loose teeth
- It can cause physical pain in the teeth or face
- Jaw pain
- Ear pain
- Tooth pain
- It can crack teeth
- It can wear down the enamel
- It can cause abnormalities with the alignment of the bite
Tips/Ways to Help Stop Grinding Your Teeth
- Wear a mouthguard to bed
- Botox (injections of Botox into the jaw muscles can prevent the muscles from contracting in some people)
- Physical therapy
- Stress relief exercises
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid alcohol
- Talk to Dr.Johnson about a custom night guard or splint
- Talk to your primary care physician about possible underlying medical elements
- Talk to a sleep medicine specialist
- Speak with a medical professional who is experienced in using Botox to treat medical conditions–these include dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, TMD specialists, and some dentists
If you grind your teeth, we invite you to set up a consultation with Dr. Johnson. We can discuss creating a custom night guard to help protect your teeth. We can also refer you to other specialists that can help you overcome the underlying reason for the grinding.