|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
August 17, 2014
Many people grind their teeth for many different reasons. Most of the time, grinding the teeth causes no harm to the mouth. However, when a person grinds their teeth together on a regular basis, damage to the teeth or other oral complications can occur. Most people grind their teeth because they are stressed, anxious or when they sleep. The most common reason for grinding of the teeth is the presence of an abnormal bite or crooked teeth. Teeth grinding is medically known as bruxism.
Most people who grind their teeth don’t even realize it, because it may occur while they are sleeping. Someone’s significant other might be the only one to realize they are grinding their teeth, because they can probably hear it at night. If you are grinding your teeth at night, you will mostly wake up with a dull and constant headache along with a sore jaw. If you are not sure, then talk to your dentist. They will be able to tell by looking at your mouth, teeth and jaw area. Some signs of bruxism they will look for are jaw tenderness or abnormalities in the teeth.
Grinding the teeth is done a lot of the time when someone is trying to get through a stressful situation. This is not a good idea. People who have a chronic case of teeth grinding show signs of fracturing, loosening and loss of teeth. It can cause the teeth to be worn down to stumps. When these things occur, then more extensive dental work might need to be done to fix the problem, including bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures or complete dentures. Grinding can also lead to damage in the jaw.
When trying to stop teeth grinding, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard that can protect the teeth while sleeping. If stress is causing your bruxism, talk to your doctor about different things you can do to help reduce your stress. There are some things that you can do on your own to help you stop grinding your teeth. The following are some helpful tips:
- Avoid alcohol. Teeth grinding has been known to intensify after the consumption of alcohol.
- Cut back on foods and drinks which contain caffeine.
- Don’t chew on pens, pencils or other non-food items.
- Avoid chewing on gum. Gum chewing allows the jaw muscles to get use to the clenching and makes it more likely you will grind the teeth later on.
- Try to train yourself to not clench or grind the teeth. If you start to see that you are clenching or grinding during your day, position your tongue between the teeth. This will help you train your jaw muscles to relax more.
- Relax the jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against the cheek in front of the earlobe.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.