You may not have known it until your dental professional told you or you started to experience tooth and jaw sensitivity and pain, but now that you’ve been told or suspect that you grind your teeth, you may have questions about the condition.
Following are some of the most commonly asked questions we hear at Brooklin Village Dental Care to help you understand the condition a little more.
What is the medical term for the condition of teeth grinding? Although it’s most commonly referred to as teeth grinding, the medical term for the condition is bruxism, of which there are two types: sleep bruxism and wakefulness bruxism.
What are the symptoms of bruxism? The damage to your teeth will be the same in both types, and the symptoms for both include sensitive teeth, aching muscles in your jaw, headaches, wearing to your teeth, and damage to existing crowns and other restorations such as fillings.
If left untreated, what’s the worse that can happen? When it comes to chronic grinding of your teeth, you may experience fractured or loosened teeth which can lead to root canals, bridges, crowns, or even the total loss of teeth which will need to be restored through implants or dentures.
Is there a main cause for teeth grinding? Teeth grinding is often associated with stress, but it can also be caused by an abnormal bite or sleep apnea.
How do I know if I’m grinding my teeth? Most people complain of headaches upon waking or a tenderness in their jaw muscles. Others have been told by their partner that they can be heard grinding their teeth in their sleep. But the best way to learn whether or not you’re grinding your teeth is to let a dental professional who’s trained to identify the symptoms examine your mouth. There will be telltale sign such as excessive wear on your teeth that only your dentist will notice.
Is there anything I can try at home before I visit the dentist? Some people have found that cutting back on caffeine helps. Others have noticed that they tend to grind their teeth more after the consumption of alcohol, so this may also be a helpful tip to try.
What’s the best remedy? A custom-fitted mouthguard usually does the trick. When used properly, a night guard will protect your teeth from damage when sleeping. While there are over-the-counter mouthguards available, they are not as beneficial in the long run to your overall dental health.
Want to learn more? If you suspect that you grind your teeth and want to avoid possible damage to your teeth, make an appointment with Brooklin Village Dental Care for an assessment and treatment options. We have convenient evening and Saturday appointments available to accommodate even the most hectic schedule.