Do you often wake up with a headache, stiff jaw, or even catch yourself grinding your teeth throughout the day? While often a sign of stress, tooth grinding can indicate a problem within the muscles and ligaments that move your jaw. If you grind your teeth a lot, you should see a dentist like Dr. Ray Ribitch in Mount Pleasant, MI for an accurate diagnosis and treatment to stop teeth grinding, and its side effects, for good.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
People who clench or grind their teeth often have a problem with the “bite,” which refers to the alignment of your teeth. Most people who suffer from teeth grinding have an uneven bite, such as an overbite or underbite.
Teeth grinding is often a symptom of stress, but not always personal environmental stress. Stress from a problem within the muscles in the mouth and neck can cause tension, which can lead to teeth grinding and worsen its effects on your body. So while it’s always a good idea to reduce personal stress as much as possible, this is not the only cause of teeth grinding, and deserves a more detailed diagnosis and treatment.
How Do I Know If I Grind My Teeth?
There are a few symptoms that a dentist or hygienist can see in your mouth, even if you do not tell them that you grind your teeth. Worn or dull teeth, especially if they have chips or flat spots, are an indicator that a patient grinds their teeth. It is also common for teeth grinding patients to have cuts or sores on the inside of the cheek. You can also tell your dentist if you have increased sensitivity to temperature, jaw pain, and frequent headaches, as these are signs of teeth grinding.
Can Teeth Grinding Be Stopped?
A lot of advice suggests reducing your stress levels, which may help you stop grinding your teeth, but if that stress is inside the mouth and out of your control, you’ll need other ways to help stop teeth grinding. Often, stress reduction and occlusal appliances are combined to treat bruxism.
There are a few different options available in the form of occlusal appliances. You might be familiar with night guards, which are a type of occlusal appliance. These are custom-fitted to each patient’s mouth and designed to fit over the top or bottom teeth to stop nighttime teeth grinding.
For more severe cases, your dentist may recommend mandibular advancement devices, which are designed to bring the jaw forward when the dentist suspects a sleep disorder is causing the problem. These devices are often referred to as “snore guards,” which help align the jaw during sleep to help with sleep apnea or snoring.
Teeth Grinding Treatment in Mount Pleasant, MI
Teeth grinding can damage teeth and keep you from living a pain-free life, so it’s important to seek treatment if you grind your teeth. Dr. Ribitch’s team at Mid Michigan Smiles is a full-service dental office that can help you put an end to teeth grinding and keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Request an appointment online today or call our office at 989.268.7966.