Bruxism, sometimes called teeth grinding, can affect your teeth, gums, jaw function, and overall oral health. Teeth grinding is one of the most common dental concerns we treat in our Washington, DC, dental office. Addressing teeth grinding can help prevent further damage to your teeth and surrounding structures.
Although there is no singular cause for teeth grinding, an experienced dentist can perform specialized testing to understand the root cause of teeth grinding. Studies suggest stress, bite disorders, or crooked or misaligned teeth commonly cause teeth grinding.
Dr. Justin Deckard offers comprehensive solutions for patients who grind their teeth. Dr. Deckard can work with you to create a treatment to eliminate teeth grinding, address any damage to the teeth and gums, and prevent future issues associated with teeth grinding.
TMJ & Teeth Grinding
Most patients don’t realize they grind their teeth until they visit the dentist. Teeth grinding can cause symptoms such as headaches, facial pain, jaw pain, worn or damaged teeth, and chipped teeth. Additionally, teeth grinding can also affect your bite, which may require advanced treatment.
Patients who grind their teeth often develop a TMJ-related disorder or TMD. The temporomandibular joint, commonly referred to as the TMJ, connects the lower jaw to the skull. When there is added stress on the temporomandibular joint, patients may experience uncomfortable, sometimes painful symptoms.
Dr. Deckard can work with patients to determine if they have developed a complex bite disorder. Then, he can recommend the appropriate treatment to alleviate their symptoms and improve their oral health.
Treatment Options For Teeth Grinding in Washington, DC
Dr. Deckard offers comprehensive, personalized solutions for patients suffering from teeth grinding. Some patients may need a combination of treatments to create a plan best suited to their specific needs. Dr. Deckard will provide an in-office visual examination and take dental X-rays to create a treatment plan that addresses teeth grinding and related symptoms, including tooth wear and headaches.
Treatments for teeth grinding that Dr. Deckard provides in his office include:
Oral Sleep Appliance
An oral sleep appliance is custom-designed to fit your smile. Oral sleep appliances can prevent the teeth from clenching and grinding while you sleep. We can take dental impressions in our office to ensure that appliances fit correctly. Our office sends this impression to a lab, which creates the appliance from hard plastic.
Wearing the appliance over the upper or lower teeth will prevent tooth contact and alleviate problems like headaches and migraines that often accompany bruxism.
For patients with crooked or misaligned teeth, Invisalign is an ideal solution to realign your smile. Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten crooked teeth, which can contribute to tooth grinding.
For some patients, addressing crooked and misaligned teeth can restore balance to their smiles and treat TMJ symptoms. Dr. Deckard is a Washington, DC, Invisalign provider. He can take impressions in his office to create custom Invisalign aligners.
For advanced cases of teeth grinding, Dr. Deckard may recommend restorative dentistry to restore function and health to the smile. Your treatment may include dental crowns or tooth bonding. These treatments cover and protect areas of wear and tooth damage.
If Dr. Deckard needs to extract severely damaged teeth, he will offer dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures to replace them. These restorations replace one or more missing teeth and look and function like natural teeth.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Discover more about teeth grinding with answers to these popular questions:
Why do I grind my teeth?
There’s no one specific reason why people grind their teeth. It can stem from a variety of things. Anxiety, stress, anger, or frustration can all lead to this habit. It may also be something you do when you’re concentrating.
Can a dentist cure teeth grinding?
There is no definite cure for grinding your teeth. Our treatment options can lessen the habit or impact and relieve symptoms. We can also work with you so that you can notice you’re doing it during the day and take steps to stop it.
Can grinding my teeth impact my speech?
The longer you grind your teeth, the more likely you will suffer bite problems. This can impact your speech and the way you make different sounds.
Can grinding teeth cause gum recession?
Yes, teeth grinding can contribute to gum recession. Teeth grinding puts a lot of force and pressure on your gums. Over time, this force can cause your gums to recede, exposing the roots of your teeth.
Teeth grinding can also lead to other dental problems, such as tooth damage and TMJ disorders. Therefore, talking to your dentist if you suspect you might be grinding your teeth is important.
Can teeth grinding cause cavities?
Teeth grinding can indirectly lead to cavities. While teeth grinding doesn’t directly cause cavities, it can wear down your enamel over time. This outer layer of teeth is your first line of defense against cavities. If the enamel starts to wear away, it will expose the inner layers of your teeth, which are more susceptible to decay.
Once this happens, it’s easier for plaque and bacteria to damage your teeth and lead to cavities. If you’re grinding your teeth, addressing the issue with your dentist is crucial to prevent cavities.
Does grinding your teeth cause headaches?
Yes, teeth grinding can contribute to headaches. The constant clenching and grinding put a lot of pressure on your facial and jaw muscles. This can lead to tension headaches.
In addition, if you frequently wake up with headaches in the morning, it could be a sign that you’re grinding your teeth while you sleep. So, if you’re suffering from recurrent headaches, you should discuss the possibility of teeth grinding with your dentist.
If you are experiencing signs of teeth grinding and live in the Washington, DC, area, schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Deckard. To schedule an appointment, call (202) 851-7554. Feel free to request an appointment online.
Please get in touch with us if you have questions about your symptoms or your treatment options for teeth grinding. We will help you find the best treatment option for your dental problems.