Your family dentist knows that most of us clench our teeth once in a while, but chronic bruxism can damage the teeth and cause other health issues to develop. Left untreated, grinding teeth may wear teeth down to stumps, may result in tooth loss, may cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, (jaw joint pain) and may even change the appearance of your face. Cosmetic dentistry provides a variety of solutions to repair and prevent damage from tooth grinding.
Symptoms of Bruxism (teeth-grinding):
- Others telling you they hear you grinding your teeth at night
- Excessive wear on the teeth
- Experiencing a sore jaw in the morning
- Noticing an ongoing, low-level headache
- Sleep disorders such as apnea
Causes of teeth-grinding:
- Problems with the “bite”
- Missing or crooked teeth
- Stress and anxiety
- Dehydration may also contribute to bruxism
Although adults make up the majority of patients who see a family dentist for issues relating to bruxism, approximately 30% of children grind their teeth — usually when baby teeth or adult teeth are coming in. Anxiety, allergies, pinworms, nutritional deficiencies or endocrine problems can contribute to bruxism in children.
Treatment Options for patients who grind their teeth:
- Mouth guards — custom made resilient protective devices worn inside the mouth — usually at night.
- Occlusal Splints — a type of mouth guard specially designed for people who have a history of pain associated with their bite or jaw joints (TMJ) or have undergone mouth reconstruction.
- Bridges / partials
These options will usually be more effective if a program to reduce stress is part of the treatment plan as well.
The staff at Distinctive Dentistry undergoes ongoing training and uses state of the art equipment to ensure you have highest quality dentistry from professionals you can trust. Our office is easy-to-access, located just off the freeway in Fife, WA and serving patients in the greater Tacoma area including Gig Harbor, Puyallup, and Federal Way. We offer sedation dentistry among our treatment options. Award winning dentist Dr. Keith Phillips has over 25 years’ experience in cosmetic dentistry treating patients with bruxism.