Bruxism: It’s a Grind

Marea White DDS Jaw Pain

Teeth grinding is a large, and very common, problem. I notice it in a lot of my patients. Most people don’t consciously grind their teeth. We seem to do it while we are sleeping, driving, or working out.

The word we use for this is bruxism. I’d like to spend a little bit of time today talking about what bruxism is, how it’s diagnosed, and how it’s treated.

Wear and Tear on Your Teeth

There are a handful of symptoms for bruxism. My patients often complain of persistent morning headaches or jaw pain.

When I examine my patients, I notice a few things as well. Mainly I see an uneven wearing of the teeth. I see little divots worn away in certain areas of the mouth that signal this person is clenching and grinding his or her teeth without even noticing.

Lucky for my teeth-grinding patients, we can take an impression of the upper jaw and create a hard acrylic appliance that will stop the bruxism.

If your job is stressful, teeth grinding is especially likely. Sometimes, I meet patients who can tell me which activities make them grind their teeth. Usually it has to do with sitting in traffic or lifting weights at the gym. I ask that they wear their appliance during those activities to help prevent further damage.

Protect Your Investment

Bring your appliance with you to your regularly scheduled hygiene appointments so that we can clean them for you and inspect them for wear. Sometimes patients are grinding their teeth right through the appliance. We want to make sure we don’t let that happen.

We especially recommend bruxism appliances to patients who have undergone extensive crown work. We do this as a way of protecting your investment. You’ve spent a lot of money on your teeth. Excessive grinding will only put you back in the dental chair sooner.

If you are interested in learning more about our bruxism appliance, please visit our website or schedule an appointment. We are always happy to help!

 

~Dr. Marea White