Flower Mound Dentist | Sleep Could Be Harming Your Teeth
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Do you grind your teeth while you sleep? Occasional bruxing, or grinding, of the teeth is not a cause for concern. For some patients, however, clenching and grinding are an involuntary and frequent occurrence. In these cases, grinding may be happening almost every night or even while they are awake. This is a far more serious issue known as bruxism.
Bruxism occurs most often during sleep and can have a variety of causes. The most common issues that can lead to bruxism are stress and poor alignment of the teeth and/or jaws.
Because bruxism most frequently happens while the patient is sleeping, it can be challenging to diagnose. However, there are a number of symptoms that may indicate bruxism. Some of these include:
- Sore teeth
- Worn, flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth
- Swollen gums
- Headache, especially when waking
- Grinding sounds during sleep
- Biting/chewing damage to inside of cheek
- Sensitivity to heat, cold, or brushing
- Hairline cracks or worn enamel
- Tense or sore jaw and/or facial muscles
Talk to our doctor about your symptoms. Let us know if a sleeping partner has told you they have heard you grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. We will examine your teeth and jaw for wear and sensitivity. If bruxism is diagnosed, there are multiple treatment options that may be recommended, depending on the probable cause.
Orthodontic treatment may be recommended to treat your bruxism in some cases. This may include the fabrication and use of a night guard or treatment for misalignment.
A night guard is a custom-fabricated oral appliance that is placed between the upper and lower teeth during sleep. This device provides a flexible barrier that prevents wear on your teeth and reduces the pressure caused by grinding, which can alleviate other symptoms.
Treatment for misalignment will generally involve some type of braces or plastic aligners that will gently move teeth into proper positioning within the mouth. This can help relieve symptoms and prevent their recurrence if the bruxism is caused by the misalignment.
Left untreated, bruxism can lead to more serious oral health issues. If you believe you may have bruxism, contact our office for a consultation today.