Posts for tag: bruxism
Discover more effective ways to get your nightly teeth grinding under control.
Has our New Hope, PA, dentist Dr. Dawn Rickert told you that you grind your teeth? You might not even realize you do it, especially if you are notorious for grinding your teeth (a condition known as bruxism) at night. Unfortunately, this nocturnal habit can cause some serious wear and tear, which can eventually lead to worn down, weak, and damaged teeth. To prevent these complications from happening to you, there are strategies to reduce nighttime teeth grinding and its negative effects.
Let’s First Determine the Cause
To figure out the best approaches to treating your nighttime teeth grinding we first need to figure out what is causing this nasty habit. Through imaging and an oral examination, we can often figure out if there is damage to a tooth, misaligned jaws, or jaw muscle tenderness that could result in teeth grinding. If you’ve been told that your bruxism is due to sleep problems, our New Hope, PA, dentist also focuses on treating sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and any teeth grinding that may result.
From There, We Can Treat Your Nighttime Grinding
Now that we know what’s going on, we are ready to help you get the relief you’ve been looking for. If we discover that your grinding may be due to misaligned jaws or teeth, we may recommend getting orthodontic treatment to correct this issue. Other treatment options include,
- Medications such as Botox or muscle relaxants
- Biofeedback to alter bad habits and to help you control your jaw muscles
- Changes to current lifestyle and behaviors that could predispose you to teeth grinding
- Stress management
- A nighttime splint or custom mouthguard
Dr. Rickert and her team can craft custom-fitted splints to help prevent damage to teeth during nighttime clenching and grinding. While it won’t stop teeth grinding, wearing this device while you sleep can slow the progression of wear and tear on your teeth to prevent injury in the future.
If you are guilty of teeth grinding, know that our New Hope, PA, family dentist Dr. Rickert and the team at New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry can provide you with a protective custom-fitted mouthguard and other strategies to prevent damage to your smile. To discuss getting a nightguard to stop bruxism, call us at (215) 862-2525
Teeth grinding is one childhood habit that sounds worse than it usually is: often the most harm done is to your night’s sleep. That said, though, it’s still a habit to keep your eye on.
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is so common among children that it’s considered normal behavior by many healthcare professionals. As for causes, some suggest a child’s immature neuromuscular chewing control may trigger it, while others point to the change from deeper sleep to a lighter stage as a possible cause. Problems like airway obstruction, medications or stress also seem to contribute to the habit.
For most children, teeth grinding usually fades by age 11 with no adverse effect on their teeth. If the habit extends into adolescence, however, there’s an increased risk for damage, mainly tooth wear.
This can happen because grinding often produces chewing forces 20-30 times greater than normal. Over time this can cause the biting surfaces of the teeth to wear and reduces the size of the teeth. While teeth normally wear over a lifetime, accelerated wear can pose a significant health risk to your teeth. Any sign of tooth wear in a child or adolescent is definitely cause for concern.
If your child’s tooth grinding habit appears to be developing into a problem, your dentist may recommend a few treatment options. The most common is a thin, plastic night guard worn in the mouth during sleep that prevents the upper and lower teeth from making contact. If the suspected cause is airway obstruction, they may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to seek treatment for that, as well as other professionals to help with managing stress or medications.
Like thumb sucking, the habit of teeth grinding usually ends with no permanent ill effects. But if you notice it continuing late into childhood or your dentist finds tooth wear or other problems, take action to avoid problems long-term.
If you would like more information on childhood bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Children Grind their Teeth.”