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Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is a condition in which patients unconsciously grind or clench their teeth.  Some patients grind their teeth or clench their jaw during the day, while others do it at night when they are sleeping. Patients with mild bruxism may not need treatment for the condition; others may suffer from pain and other complications resulting from teeth grinding.

Teeth Grinding Symptoms

People that grind their teeth may develop various symptoms associated with the condition, including:

• Tooth sensitivity or pain
• Jaw pain
• Headaches
• Worn down tooth enamel
• Fractured, chipped or worn down teeth
• Bite marks on the cheeks or tongue

Teeth Grinding Causes

Doctors have been unable to determine what causes bruxism to develop in some people. However, experts theorize that the causes of teeth grinding and jaw clenching may include:

• Caffeine
• Alcohol
• Misaligned upper and lower teeth
• Anxiety and stress
• Frustration and anger
• Hyperactive and competitive personalities
• Transitions in the sleep cycle
• Side effects caused by certain antidepressants
• Side effects caused by certain medical conditions, including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease

Teeth Grinding Treatment

Patients who have moderate to severe cases of bruxism should consult a dentist to find out if they have caused any damage to their teeth, and get fitted for a mouth guard or another dental appliance. A mouth guard can prevent the teeth and protective enamel from wearing down due to teeth grinding. Those who have suffered tooth damage can undergo various treatments to restore the teeth back to health. Common treatments performed on patients with bruxism include:

• Fluoride treatments to reduce tooth sensitivity and strengthen tooth enamel
• Dental bonding and porcelain veneers to fix chips and fractures
• Dental fillings, inlays, onlays and crowns to support teeth damaged by tooth decay
• Dental bridges, implants or dentures to replace missing teeth
• TMJ treatment

If you are experiencing the painful or damaging symptoms associated with bruxism, contact a dentist to discuss your teeth grinding treatment options

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