treating bruxism

treating bruxismThe Cost of Clenching and Grinding

Knoxville and Maryville TN

Bruxism, known as clenching and grinding of the teeth, affects many Americans. Maybe it is the ever-changing economy that is adding stress to the lives of many. Most people will experience some level of bruxism at one point in time or another, and these people will probably not even notice and neither will their dentist. It is when bruxism consistently occurs at night, or while sleeping, that it can do the most damage, causing dental deterioration and other health problems.

What causes bruxism?

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Side effects of medication
  • An imbalanced bite, which can be caused by anything from childhood allergies to chronic mouth breathing, trauma to the head and/or neck, missing teeth, or broken teeth
  • An underdeveloped jaw or dental arches
  • Improper jaw alignment
  • Sleep apnea

What are the symptoms of bruxism?

  • Excessive wear on teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Excessive tooth decay
  • Fractured, broken teeth or missing teeth
  • Gum recession.
  • Notching around your teeth
  • Bulky bone build up on the floor of your mouth
  • Poor sleep
  • Jaw pain
  • Hearing clicking and popping as your jaws open and close
  • Regularly occurring headaches (daily, weekly or monthly)
  • Ear pain, ringing in the ears, or stuffy/congested ears
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Back pain
  • Nerve pain (tingling and hypersensitivity)
  • Sinus discomfort (pressure around your sinuses and temples)
  • Facial pain (muscle aching in your face)

During routine dental check-ups, the dentist can usually determine if you have bruxism because wear and tear may often be visible. However, other factors cause teeth to become damaged, and enamel has worn thin. Often, a sleep partner or a parent may notice the problem before other signs or symptoms are apparent. Eventually, as your teeth become worn down, myofascial pain (pain in the facial muscles) or jaw joint disorders may develop.

The most obvious treatment for bruxism is to eliminate stress from your life, but we all know how nearly impossible this can be, so in the meantime, your dentist can help. Most patients with bruxism experience relief from their symptoms by wearing a mouthguard. At Crestview Dental Care, we can provide you with a custom-made, acrylic splint. This oral appliance should be worn while sleeping, and it helps balance the pressure in your mouth that is created when you clench and grind your teeth. If teeth grinding occurs, the appliance takes the brunt of the damage, instead of your teeth. Once your bruxism is under control, the dentist can determine a treatment plan to repair any damaged or missing teeth, and rebuild your bite so that it properly aligns.

Treating Bruxism in Maryville

People experiencing turbulence in their lives tend to develop stressful habits, such as teeth grinding, and clenching. It is important not to ignore the clenching and grinding of your teeth. This habit could be devastating your teeth without you even knowing it! If you are showing any combination of the symptoms of bruxism listed above, you need to schedule an evaluation and contact us today at Crestview Dental Care by calling (865) 982-1700. If diagnosed with bruxism, we can provide you with a customized oral appliance. We welcome patients of Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee.