Teeth Grinding Treatment Questions and Answers
If you have trouble with grinding your teeth and are seeking information to help with your treatment, come to Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. Call Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders today to speak with our sleep team about teeth grinding, or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
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Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition, affecting approximately 1 in 10 people. Most people are unaware that they grind their teeth at night, which can cause the condition to go unnoticed for a long time. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to tooth damage, sleep problems, and headaches. Fortunately, there are safe and effective treatments for teeth grinding that provide relief and results.
Nighttime teeth grinding can be hard to determine, as it occurs while we are unconscious, and therefore unaware. Unless informed by a partner or family member, nighttime teeth grinding can go unnoticed for years. The longer teeth grinding goes untreated, the more likely complications are to arise. Some signs and symptoms that indicate teeth grinding include:
Disrupted Sleep — Disrupted sleep is often the first sign of teeth grinding, and when experienced frequently, can lead to further health complications.
Neck or Facial Pain — Grinding the teeth exerts a lot of pressure on the jaw, and when it occurs regularly, often leads to neck or facial pain.
Morning Headaches — One of the biggest indications of nighttime teeth grinding is waking up with a headache. Although there are a number of different causes for headaches, when they are frequently experienced in the morning, it may be due to nocturnal teeth grinding.
Locked or Painful Jaw — Perhaps the most obvious symptom, a locked or painful jaw commonly occurs to those affected by teeth grinding. The excess strain and pressure causes the muscles and tendons to become fatigued, which often results in reduced motion or soreness.
Tooth Damage — When teeth are forcefully grated against one another, chipping or cracking is a very real concern. This tooth damage can lead to more pain, and may worsen with further teeth grinding.
Inner Cheek or Lip Tissue Damage — Everyone has bitten their tongue or cheek, which is never a pleasant experience. This can occur during the night with teeth grinding, especially if the face is pressed against a pillow.
Teeth grinding can create numerous problems, such as:
– Loose teeth
– Local muscular pain
– Loss of tooth structure
– Gum recession
– Shortening of teeth
– Tooth sensitivity
– Cracked and broken teeth,
– Damage to the structure of the jaw joint
– Facial changes
There are many treatments available and lifestyle changes one can implement to minimize teeth grinding. Common at-home therapies include performing exercises to help relax the jaw and facial muscles and massaging the jaw to relieve tension and pain. These can be performed anywhere, at any time. Lifestyle changes one can make includes eating softer foods, as tough, chewy foods can cause the jaw to work harder, causing tension and soreness. The most common treatment to prevent teeth grinding is wearing a mouth guard, which provides a physical barrier to stop the teeth from making contact.
If you or someone you love grinds their teeth at night, don’t let it go untreated, come to Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders today. We focus on fixing the underlying problem, rather than just alleviating symptoms. We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality care at every visit. Call us today to book an appointment. We look forward to serving you!