Jaw pain, difficulty chewing and recurring headaches are some of the common signs of bruxism or teeth grinding. Patients may not realize they are grinding their teeth until damage begins to occur or Dr. Tu notices the tell-tale signs during a routine dental care visit. Teeth grinding can be the underlying cause of many of the symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder or TMJ. Addressing teeth grinding as soon as possible can help you avoid tooth damage, discomfort and other side effects that can impact your dental health and quality of life. Dr. Tu has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of bite-related disorders and teeth grinding and offers individualized care for your needs.
Common signs of teeth grinding can include:
- Worn teeth, teeth that appear flat
- Jaw pain, tired jaws
- Popping or clicking jaw
- Ear, neck pain
- Frequent headaches, often in the morning and around the temples
- Difficulty chewing
Dr. Tu takes a holistic approach to your diagnosis and dental care, using the Dawson Academy principles of complete dentistry to evaluate the function of the bite and how your teeth are making contact. This is important when treating teeth grinding and other symptoms of a bite problem, serving as a foundation for addressing the root cause of the problem with appropriate care that does not only manage the symptoms. The goal of your treatment is to reduce any discomfort you are experiencing, stabilize your bite and support your long term oral health.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding in North Liberty
Dr. Tu will recommend the most suitable treatment for your dental health condition and symptoms after an exam. Treatment options can range from a custom mouthguard to more advanced procedures in the event of damage or a structural problem with the jaw. With the goal of a stable and lasting outcome, Dr. Tu will address the entire occlusal system with your recommended treatment.
- Custom mouthguard or splint therapy: a mouthguard is the most conservative treatment option and often the first line of treatment to manage teeth grinding. Custom fit and designed to reposition the jaw, a mouthguard allows the jaw to relax in a natural position and reduces muscle tension.
- Restorative dentistry: if teeth have become worn or damaged as a result of teeth grinding or jaw clenching, Dr. Tu may use tooth bonding or a dental crown to restore the strength and structural integrity of the tooth. Restorative treatments may also be used to adjust the biting surfaces and enable the teeth to make proper contact without undue stress.
- Orthodontics: if crooked teeth or malocclusion are causing your bite problem, we may recommend orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth and improve bite function.