Grinding your teeth, also called bruxism, is an often unconscious behavior in which your jaw clenches and your top and bottom teeth are pressed and grated against each other. The resulting pressure can harm your teeth, gums, and jaw. There are many potential underlying causes for this habit. You can work with your dentist to determine causation and find the best treatment for you. Here, Dr. Justin Deckard, a dentist in Washington, DC, discusses three treatments for teeth grinding.
The wear and tear of teeth grinding can cause breakage in your teeth as well as soreness in your jaw. If this behavior occurs during your sleep, your dentist may recommend that your wear an oral appliance at night. A custom-made mouthguard can fit comfortably in your mouth without concerns of slippage. The device can absorb the pressure of unconscious grinding and clenching to protect your teeth from harm. Because the fit is customized to your unique mouth, you can sleep with ease, knowing the appliance will not fall out of place as you sleep.
Crooked teeth can be one of the causes of teeth grinding. If your teeth do not align properly, they can grate against one another, causing discomfort. Invisalign can align your teeth effectively and with discretion. Invisalign uses sets of clear aligners that are created with 3D imaging to fit your smile. Over time, the apparatus straightens your teeth so your bite can align correctly. This can stop teeth from grinding together and relieve painful symptoms. Invisalign’s design is discreet and allows for fewer appointments with your dental professional as opposed to the regular tightening required with metal braces. The process can be helpful without being disruptive.
Patients with severe cases of teeth grinding may require restorative dentistry. The purpose of this service is to amend damage to your teeth, gums, or jaw. Teeth grinding can cause temporomandibular joint disorders, often referred to as TMJ. Patients with this condition experience jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms that stem from pressure on the jaw. Your dentist may recommend lifestyle changes to reduce the stress that can cause teeth grinding or clenching. If your teeth experience structural damage due to this behavior, you may need dental work, such as a crown, to repair the tooth and restore function.
Treat teeth grinding in Washington, DC
DC Precision Dentistry can treat dental concerns such as teeth grinding for patients in Washington, DC. Dr. Deckard also offers general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services to patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 202.851.7554.