Do you ever grind your teeth? If so, treatment might alleviate related issues like headaches or jaw soreness. Many patients grind their teeth frequently, yet are unaware of the damage they’re creating. The condition of clenching and grinding teeth is known as bruxism, and it can lead to tooth wear, breakage, fractures, and TMJ disorder. Dr. Jessica Johnson treats bruxism with comfortable oral appliances.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is simply the medical term for teeth grinding. Many people consciously grind their teeth on occasion, but most bruxers subconsciously gnash their teeth during sleep
Bruxism can be linked to malocclusion, or misaligned upper and lower arches. If malocclusion goes untreated, jaw muscles must work overtime to hold the jaw joints in proper position throughout the day. During sleep, the overworked muscles tense and twitch, and associated nerves send confused signals of pain to the brain. Twitching muscles cause gnashing teeth, which we know as bruxiusm. Without proper treatment, the patient could eventually cause significant damage to teeth and jaw joints.
In addition to misaligned teeth, stress and anxiety are known to contribute to bruxism. Diet is also a proven factor. Limiting intake of caffeine and sugar throughout the day, particularly after lunch, can help reduce bruxism at night, in some situations.
How Can My Dentist Treat Bruxism?
Nightguards are a useful tool in the fight against bruxism. When worn, custom fitted nightguards protect the teeth by preventing upper and lower teeth from touching and grinding. In some cases, nightguards can retrain (or reprogram) jaw muscles to eliminate bruxism completely. Although there is no cure-all solution, bruxism is treatable. Scheduling a professional consultation is recommended for insuring proper oral health.
Schedule Your Visit
Don’t let teeth grinding ruin your oral health and comfort. Dr. Johnson can help. At Valley Ridge Family Dental, we focus on promoting good overall and oral health. Contact our 50266 dental office by calling (515) 223-9764 to schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve families from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Urbandale, and the surrounding Des Moines metro communities.