Do you grind your teeth?
Many people grind or clench their teeth. Are you one of them? Although teeth grinding (Bruxism) may happen at any time, people often grind their teeth in their sleep. You may not even know you’re doing it. The causes are not clear. Stress is one possible cause, but often the reason for the habit is not known.
Evaluating the Problem
To decide how best to help you, your dentist will inspect your teeth and ask questions. This evaluation helps confirm that you do grind your teeth. It may also help identify a possible cause of your teeth-grinding habit.
The symptoms of Grinding
Your dentist may ask whether you have certain symptoms such as:
*A sore, tired jaw
symptoms like these may be a signal that you grind your teeth.
You and your dentist can decided how best to treat your teeth-grinding problem. The most common treatments are listed below.
A mouth guard is a plastic device that fits over your teeth, sometimes called a night guard. It may fit over your top or bottom teeth. It protects them from grinding damage. A mouth guard is worn at the times when you’re most likely to grind your teeth. Mouth guards take very little maintenance. Rinse the guard before wearing it and after removing it from your mouth. Brush it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste or liquid soap after removing it. Soak it in water when you’re not wearing it, unless told otherwise.
Stress is suspected in many cases of bruxism. Reducing stress may help relax your jaw muscles and make grinding less likely. Your dentist may suggest regular exercise or other ways to reduce stress.
In some cases medication may be given. It may help relieve sore muscles or reduce stress.
Fixing Damaged Teeth
Your dentist can discuss ways to fix teeth damaged by bruxism. Crowns and onlays are two ways to fix damaged teeth.
Protect your smile! Getting teeth grinding under control can help you sleep better at night and feel better during the day. It can also help you protect your smile by keeping your teeth from being damaged.
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