Teeth grinding, or bruxism is a common dental concern that we treat in our Charlottesville, VA dental office. While seemingly a harmless habit, teeth grinding can actually cause extensive damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. This is because the constant pressure being applied to your teeth while you sleep puts a strain on your dental structures. Over time, this strain can cause jaw pain, tension headaches, and even dental damage.
At Harrison Dental Associates, we treat patients with bruxism through the use of custom mouthguards to ensure that the jawbone is held in a comfortable resting position while you sleep in addition to preventing you from grinding your teeth.
Bruxism Treatment in Charlottesville, VA
Dr. Matthew Harrison is your trusted general dentist in Charlottesville, VA. He is known for providing compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages. Whether you suspect your child is grinding their teeth at night, or you’ve experienced the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding and want to be evaluated for it, Harrison Dental Associates can help you. We take the time during each oral health and wellness visit to check each patient for the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding. Make sure to mention any discomfort you’ve experienced outside of the office that might be associated with teeth grinding at your upcoming appointment. Some bruxism symptoms include:
- Facial pain or soreness
- Tension headaches
- Pain associated with TMJ disorders
- Increased teeth sensitivity
- Worn-down teeth
How To Prevent Teeth Grinding
The best thing to do to prevent teeth grinding is often the use of a customized mouthguard. The mouthguard will protect your teeth while you sleep and prevent any damage if you continue to clench your jaw or attempt tp grind your teeth. Many people find that they grind their teeth or clench their jaw muscles due to stress. To help prevent this, we recommend practicing stress management routines before bed like deep breathing exercises or meditation. Additionally, throughout your day, leave yourself reminders around your home and workspace to unclench your jaw and relax your facial muscles. This will help you be more mindful of your teeth grinding habit and hopefully make you more aware of when you are doing it.
Teeth Grinding and TMJ
Teeth grinding is often associated with a TMJ disorder. Dr. Harrison can offer a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you have a TMJ related disorder and if teeth grinding has damaged your teeth, gums or jaw joints. There is a range of options for addressing a TMJ problem depending on your needs and the severity of your dental concerns. Seeking treatment early is best and can help you avoid permanent damage.