Bruxism (Grinding) and Clenching
Do you catch yourself grinding your teeth during the day without realizing that you’ve been doing it for a while? Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, affects a large number of patients. Because it often occurs at night, you might not even realize what is happening until Dr. Gorman spots signs of dental damage during your examination. If you suffer from bruxism, then we can help you protect your smile with an appropriate bruxism treatment.
WHAT IS BRUXISM?
Bruxism is the clinical name for excessive teeth-grinding, and while it can occur at any time of the day, the habit tends to affect patients most often at night. If you consistently grind your teeth while you sleep, then you might not be immediately aware of the condition. During your regular dental exam, Dr. Gorman may spot signs of grinding and recommend an appropriate treatment before bruxism causes extensive damage to your teeth.
WHAT CAUSES BRUXISM?
Bruxism is not caused by any one specific reason, but is the result of a culmination of factors, such as emotional stress, abnormal alignment of your teeth, and/or dysfunctional jaw joints, to name just a few. In some cases, treating bruxism may require addressing the underlying cause, such as straightening crooked teeth or relieving TMJ disorder.
HOW CAN TEETH-GRINDING THREATEN MY DENTAL HEALTH?
Through constant, often unnoticed grinding, bruxism exposes your teeth to an enormous amount of pressure and friction. For patients who experience night time bruxism, the danger is even greater, since you will not be awake to catch yourself grinding your teeth and force yourself to stop. When left untreated, bruxism can lead to severely worn teeth surfaces, as well as damage such as cracks and fractures in one or more of your teeth.
ARE THERE SYMPTOMS I SHOULD BE AWARE OF?
Besides the act of grinding your teeth, bruxism can produce a number of different symptoms, including;
- Persistently sensitive teeth
- Pain in the jaw and face
- Tight, sore jaw muscles
- Ringing and/or aching in one or both ears
- Chronic headaches, especially in the mornings
- Flattened, chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth
- An uncomfortable bite due to worn down chewing surfaces
- And more
If you experience these or other symptoms and believe that you may have bruxism, then we advise scheduling a consultation with Dr. Gorman as soon as possible.
HOW DO I STOP GRINDING MY TEETH?
If you catch yourself grinding your teeth during the day, you can make a conscious effort to stop. For instance, placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth can prevent you from involuntarily clenching down. However, if your bruxism occurs more frequently at night, then Dr. Gorman can custom-design an oral appliance that you can wear while you sleep to protect your teeth from grinding together.
At Gorman Dental Care in Santa Clarita/Valencia, CA, Dr. Gorman and his talented, dedicated staff are proud to provide a full range of family and cosmetic dental services, as well as advanced dental implant placement and restorations. Whatever your dental needs, we have the experience and technology to help you enjoy a bright, beautiful, healthy smile once again! To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gorman, or for answers to questions about our practice, please call our dental office in Santa Clarita, CA today at (661) 232-9692.