Teeth grinding is more common than you’d think. It typically comes as a result of clenching your jaw in stressful or intense situations. Some people also grind their teeth while sleeping. The official word for grinding your teeth is bruxism, and it can cause serious oral health complications if it happens on a regular basis.
If you grind your teeth long and hard enough, it can cause the teeth to wear away, leaving nothing behind but stumps. This ends up with tooth loss and loss of function overall. However, it can also cause serious causes of TMD—temporomandibular joint disorders. Losing your teeth from grinding them may require you to get dental implants, root canals, or dentures. Your bite can also be ruined by grinding your teeth, especially if they wear unevenly. An uneven bite can lead to a lot of soreness, pain, and chewing problems in the long run.
So, how do you go about treating your grinding habits and get them to stop? Let’s take a look at some of the high-tech ways your dentist in Tulsa, OK can help you stop teeth grinding.
Determining the Cause of Teeth Grinding
Before your we can treat your bruxism, we first need to determine the issue that is causing you to grind your teeth in the first place. First, we would perform a comprehensive oral exam to determine the state of your teeth after grinding. If there are any problems that need immediate attention, we would likely fix them right away.
We might also use Tekscan technology to evaluate the condition of your teeth. This breakthrough in dental technology allows your dentist to measure how well your teeth fit together. With the Tekscan, we are able to best determine how to treat you for your bruxism using dental applications such as mouth guards to protect your teeth during the night.
Treating your bruxism is often a combination of professional treatment and treatment you can perform at home. It’s critically important that you treat your teeth grinding in order to stop it so your teeth don’t suffer from the long-term consequences. Let’s take a look at both kinds of treatment so you know what to expect.
When you visit us, we will use the Tekscan technology to determine the condition of your teeth. However, this technology can also be used to create a good model of your teeth in order to create a mouth guard. Mouth guards are the primary defense against teeth grinding during night when you have no control over your body. Sometimes, the grinding occurs subconsciously. Once you have been evaluated with the Tekscan, your dentist uses the results to build a customized mouth guard for you to wear while you sleep. A customized mouth guard is better than those you can buy from a store because they will last longer and fit better, relieving your jaw from discomfort.
One of the worst parts of bruxism is the constant pain you may encounter due to the stress teeth grinding puts on your teeth, jaw, and facial muscles. In order to relieve this pain, you can practice several kinds of jaw exercises such as placing your thumb underneath your chin and opening and closing your mouth while you apply pressure with your thumb. Your dentist may recommend further exercises based on your individual situation.
You can also practice stress relief exercises to lessen the amount of time you spend grinding your teeth in stressful situations. Drinking more water and avoiding gum or other chewy food items can help stop bruxism, as well. Eventually, you will want to actively learn how to relax your face and jaw as you go through your day in order to stop your jaw from automatically falling into the grinding routine.
The end result of teeth grinding can be quite intimidating. You certainly don’t want to lose your teeth over something so little, but it doesn’t have to come to that. Your dentist can utilize high-tech ways such as the Tekscan to find the best ways to treat your teeth grinding, and if you continue with prescribed treatments, you can easily avoid grinding your teeth throughout the day.