Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a dental concern that affects patients of all ages. Often, patients don’t even realize that they are suffering from bruxism until it leads to more complex dental concerns. Patients with bruxism are likely to experience worn-down teeth and unwanted dental damage as well as TMJ disorders. TMJ disorders occur after long-term stress has been applied to your dental structures, causing the joints in your jaw to become inflamed. Dr. Khanna and the dental care team at Bethesda Family Smiles look for the signs and symptoms of bruxism during your routine appointments. If we suspect you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, we will help you manage this habit before it develops into complex dental concerns. Learn more about how we help patients manage their bruxism below.
Bruxism Treatment in Bethesda, MD
During your routine preventative care appointments, one of our skilled dental professionals will evaluate your smile for signs and symptoms of bruxism. However, if you have experienced any concerning symptoms outside of our office such as frequent tension headaches, earaches, or jaw pain, make sure to mention this during your dental exam.
Patients who grind their teeth together at night are likely doing so as a response to stress. Practicing mindfulness routines before bed can help you reduce your risk of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw together while you sleep. Deep breathing or gentle jaw stretches may relieve the pressure that you are holding in your jaw muscles. Ensuring that you are relaxed and comfortable before bed will help you reduce your risk of grinding your teeth.
How do I know if I grind my teeth?
Since teeth grinding often happens while people are sleeping, they may not even know it is happening. At regular dental checkups, your dentist will be able to see signs of wear and tear that is caused by grinding.
What happens if bruxism is not treated?
Constant teeth grinding can lead to serious teeth damage. The tooth enamel will slowly wear off the teeth surfaces leaving them susceptible to decay. All the teeth surfaces will also wear down, leading to dull surfaces. You are also risking chipped teeth, cracked teeth, and tooth loss.
Can bruxism go away on its own?
In most cases, teeth grinding it not serious and will go away on its own, especially in kids. However, sometimes treatment is necessary. Dr. Khanna offers several options that will help prevent further damage and relieve the pain.
What can I do to help my teeth grinding?
Many patients suffer from bruxism because they are under a lot of stress. Therefore, addressing your stress level may help treat the teeth grinding. There are several ways to accomplish this including yoga, meditation, or any other activities that help lower your stress such as reading or exercising.
Our office treats patients with bruxism by using oral appliance therapy, also known as the use of a night guard. A night guard is a mouthguard that is designed to be worn at night. It holds your jaw in a healthy resting position as you sleep. It also acts as a protective layer so that even if you do apply pressure to your teeth, they will not experience any damages. If you suspect you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, a night guard is a proactive approach to treating this habit before it develops into complex dental concerns. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Khanna today if you think you could benefit from a custom night guard.