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Bruxism / Grinding

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BRUXISM/GRINDING

Bruxism or grinding of the teeth is a condition that often results from undue stress during the day, or from some other cause. Without realizing it, you may be clenching, grinding, or gnashing your teeth while you sleep.

In some cases, patients are also subject to bruxism during the daytime.

The fact that it’s an involuntary action makes it difficult to prevent or curb.

When it occurs during sleep, it’s very possible that bruxism is accompanied by other disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea.

If you have a very mild case of bruxism, it may not require any kind of treatment. However, with some people, it can become so severe that they wake up with:

  • headaches
  • jaw soreness
  • damaged teeth

You should recognize the symptoms of bruxism so that you can seek treatment before any actual damage does occur.

  • One of the most obvious signs of bruxism is teeth clenching or grinding, usually loud enough to wake up your partner.
  • You may also notice chipping or flattening on some of your teeth after prolonged bruxism.
  • It’s also possible that tooth enamel can be worn off, and this will expose the underlying layers of your teeth. That will cause you to be more sensitive to tooth pain or too hot and cold temperatures from drinks or foods.
  • You may also notice that you have constantly tired or tightened jaw muscles, or that you have pain and soreness in your jaw, face, or neck.
  • In some cases, you may have the mistaken notion that you have an earache, even if there’s nothing wrong with your ears.
  • Some people also experience a dull headache originating in the temples, which persists for several hours.

When you recognize any of these symptoms, it might be a good idea to consult with Dr. Maitri Patel about treatment for bruxism.

BRUXISM/GRINDING TREATMENT IN OCOEE, FL

The most important thing for people to understand about bruxism is that you should consult with Dr. Maitri Patel as soon you suspect it’s happening to you. This is because some considerable damage can be done if bruxism is allowed to persist for any length of time.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms described above, you should contact Dr. Patel at her Ocoee, FL dental clinic so we can determine the cause of your tooth grinding.

Once we know what’s causing your nighttime tooth grinding, we’ll be able to devise a treatment program that is most effective for managing it. You can help yourself by trying to lower your stress levels throughout the day.

If necessary, we can prescribe a custom-fitted occlusal guard which will at least cushion your mouth during your sleep time. This will serve to limit any damage done to your mouth and spare you from the worst effects of bruxism.

CONTACT US

Some of our dental patients are bothered by persistent bruxism, or teeth grinding. When you visit Dr. Maitri Patel at her Ocoee, FL dental clinic, we will attempt to find out the reason for your bruxism, so that the most appropriate form of treatment can be used.

Contact us right away if you become troubled by bruxism before any serious damage can take place with your teeth, your jaw, or with neck and shoulder muscles.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: How do I know if I grind my teeth at night?

A: There are a number of ways you can determine if you’re grinding your teeth at night. Your partner might tell you for one thing. Other than that, you could wake up with unexplained tooth damage, painful jaws, or a headache. Over time, you might even experience changes to your facial appearance.

Q: Why does teeth grinding occur?

A: There are several possible causes for teeth grinding. You may be suffering from extra stress or anxiety, you could have a side-effect from a new medication, or your current lifestyle may lead to grinding. You could also have a sleep disorder which is promoting the grinding at night.

Q: How do I prevent teeth grinding?

A: One of the things you can do at home is to try and reduce the level of stress you’re exposed to. If you consult with Dr. Maitri Patel, she may recommend that you wear an occlusal guard at night, or possibly some kind of night guard that cushions your mouth against the effects of grinding.

Q: Can occlusal guards prevent grinding at night?

A: No, they do not prevent you from grinding your teeth at night. However, they do provide a fairly effective cushion which reduces the impact of any grinding which occurs during sleep.

Q: Can I just buy a sports mouthguard instead of an occlusal guard?

A: A sports guard is made of thicker and more protective material than an occlusal guard would be, and they serve two different functions. Using a sports guard would be better than nothing, but it won’t be as effective as an occlusal guard.

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