Teeth Grinding: Prevention and Treatment
By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on May 15, 2013
Fountain Valley patients that grind their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, may do so for a variety of reasons, all of which can be treated at our Fountain Valley cosmetic dentistry practice.
About Teeth Grinding
Patients grind their teeth for many psychological, physical, and chemical reasons, including stress, the use of psychotropic medications, dental misalignment, missing teeth, and the excess or late-night consumption of caffeine and/or alcoholic beverages.
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) may also cause teeth grinding. These disorders can cause muscle tightening and tenseness in many areas of the body, including the jaw. TMJ sufferers are also prone to bruxism.
Our Fountain Valley patients may experience several symptoms from teeth grinding, many of which can seriously affect their quality of life or the beauty and functionality of their smiles. Some teeth grinding patients do so during the day and may be keenly aware of when they grind their teeth, while others do it while asleep. Both can cause:
- Sensitivity or pain in the teeth or the jaw
- Feelings of depression or anxiety
- Loose teeth
- Worn-down teeth
- Lost teeth
Preventing Teeth Grinding
At our offices in Fountain Valley, we aim to prevent teeth grinding from occurring in the first place; as such, we offer treatments that can greatly reduce the potential for tooth damage and other side effects.
Ceasing the intake of drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and other teeth-grinding stimulants can greatly reduce the condition. If teeth grinding persists, a patient should consult with our Fountain Valley dentist to explore prevention options and treatment for any damage.
When stress is the cause of teeth grinding, there are many options for treatment that can both reduce teeth grinding and address other side effects of stress, which are many. Stress treatment may include visiting a general physician or psychiatrist.
Dentists can advise patients on the causes of teeth grinding and the importance of treating the condition so patients stop clenching their jaws and grinding their teeth. They may also recommend or provide a mouth guard for patients; this will prevent teeth grinding at night while a patient sleeps.
Restoring Damage from Teeth Grinding
If missing, worn, crooked or misaligned teeth are causing bruxism, patients may explore restorative options, including:
- Dental crowns:For our patients in Fountain Valley, dental crowns cover the natural tooth and restore its stability and appearance.
- Porcelain veneers:Veneers are affixed to the front of natural teeth, creating a beautiful smile.
- Onlays:Onlays are porcelain or composite resin “indirect fillings” that are designed for and affixed to each tooth to restore lost tooth structure.
- Bridges:Bridges replace two or three consecutive missing teeth; they can be securely attached to adjacent teeth using dental crowns, or the bridges can be attached to dental implants.
For more information on the prevention or treatment of teeth grinding, or to schedule a complimentary, confidential consultation at our Fountain Valley practice, contact us today. We will be happy to fit you with a mouth guard or recommend another treatment option for bruxism.
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“I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for.” Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.