What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?
When a person grinds or clenches his or her teeth (typically while sleeping), bruxism may be diagnosed. The clenching or grinding is done with force, which can lead to significant tooth damage and other painful and annoying symptoms.
It is fairly common and should be taken seriously. Receiving proper treatment is very important to minimize the chances of more complicated, painful side effects and consequences.
However, much like sleep apnea, bruxism is a problem that could go ignored and undiagnosed. Many people do not know they suffer from bruxism until someone else tells them (usually their bed partner).
- frequent headaches
- tooth pain or sensitivity
- jaw joint pain or soreness (near the ears)
- ringing in the ears
- damaged or chipped teeth, broken crowns, teeth worn down flat
- muscle soreness (jaw and/or facial muscles)
Why do People Grind Their Teeth?
There are many reasons why people grind or clench their teeth, but the two most common reasons are:
- High Stress and Anxiety (during waking hours)
- Airway Issue (during the sleeping hours.) We can screen for sleep issues and quality.
How to Treat Teeth Grinding With a Night Guard
Because the cause of clenching and grinding varies greatly from patient to patient, treating grinding and clenching requires an understanding of WHY it is being done, as the causes are many. Dr. Forester has extensive training to determine the cause and recommend the appropriate solution individualized for each patient. There is no “one size fits all” night guard. Often, the store bought soft guards that are like a sports mouthpiece make it worse for patients by bulking up their muscles and increasing the damage.
Various solutions may include:
- Helping solve airway issues
- Making a custom night guard appropriate for the problem
- Calming the big chewing muscles with Botox
Call our office to schedule a dedicated exam for your personal assessment.
Bruxism Treatment from Lifetime Smiles in Johns Creek
Dr. Forester has significant training and experience treating TMJ and occlusion (the manner in which the lower and upper teeth come together when biting down). He will help to solve the issue and to manage the TMJ/occlusal problems.
If you are ready to finally get relief from headaches and migraines, call our Johns Creek office today to schedule your consultation appointment. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding TMJ disorders.