Millions of people are affected by bruxism, a common dental concern. It comes as a surprise to many people that the cause of their headaches, tooth wear, or broken teeth is teeth grinding. Because teeth grinding often occurs during sleep, some people don’t realize they have a problem. Instead, they may notice that they have headaches, sore jaws, or worn teeth.
Dr. Alexander is able to identify these problems for patients after a visit to our Jacksonville dental office. We will recommend treatment options to stop teeth grinding and alleviate associated symptoms.
Teeth Grinding Causes and Symptoms
Teeth grinding, known as Bruxism by dentists, is most often caused by stress. Stress can be from environmental sources and/or from stress in the occlusal system. When the teeth, jaw joints, and muscles aren’t working in harmony, it creates tension which leads to facial pain, headaches, TMJ disorders, and other problems.
Signs of teeth grinding often include:
- Worn teeth, look for teeth that have chips or flat spots
- Dull teeth because of worn tooth enamel
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain
- Chronic earache without an ear infection
- Headache or facial pain
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
Treatment for Teeth Grinding in Jacksonville
There is no definitive treatment for bruxism. Dr. Alexander may use a number of techniques to treat teeth grinding to bring your occlusal system into proper function. Often the number one problem we see that causes tooth grinding is the alignment, or contact, of teeth when biting down. That’s why Dr. Alexander’s tooth reshaping procedures are the best treatment for teeth grinding.
Also known as bite equilibration, Dr. Alexander is able to reshape teeth so that the jaw closes in a comfortable position, eliminating stress on the joints and relieving pain. Bite correction therapy involves the dentist making minor adjustments to the teeth to allow them to fit together properly, eliminating stress and pressure.
Reshaping may include:
- Removing tooth structure
- Cosmetic bonding
- Dental crowns or veneers
- Invisalign therapy
- Implant dentistry
Occlusal Splint / Night Guard
An occlusal splint is a removable appliance best suited for patients with a balanced bite and healthy TMJ. Dr. Alexander may recommend an oral appliance similar to a mouthguard. The teeth-grinding night guard is worn at night during sleep to protect teeth from grinding and clenching.
If alignment is due to crooked teeth, Dr. Alexander may suggest orthodontic treatment to reposition teeth, thus preventing grinding and clenching. Invisalign is a successful option for fixing crooked teeth.
Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard
A teeth-grinding mouthguard is another common treatment that Dr. Alexander uses to prevent patients from grinding their teeth at night. The teeth-grinding mouthguard is a customized, removable appliance that fits over the teeth, similar to a sports mouthguard.
Schedule a Dental Exam and Consultation
If you are searching for a way to stop teeth grinding at night, contact Jacksonville, FL dentist Dr. Donald Alexander. We will conduct a thorough dental exam to find out what treatment options are right for your unique smile. Call 904.901.4302 or request an appointment online today.