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. Also, your dentist can tell if you are during a routine dental care visit. Teeth grinding is a common dental problem that 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.
How do I know if I’m grinding my teeth? Common signs of teeth grinding can include:
- Worn teeth, teeth that appear flat
- Jaw pain, tired jaws
- Popping or clicking jaw
- Ear and 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.
Complete dentistry serves as a foundation for addressing the root cause of a 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
How do I stop grinding my teeth?
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 custom mouthguard is the most conservative treatment option and often the first line of treatment to manage teeth grinding. A mouthguard is custom fit and will help reposition the jaw. This 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. We may also use restorative treatments to adjust your biting surfaces. This will help your teeth to make proper contact without undue stress.
- Orthodontics: if crooked teeth or malocclusion are causing your bite problem, we may recommend orthodontic treatment. This will straighten your teeth and improve bite function.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
What does grinding your teeth in your sleep mean?
This can be a sign of a couple of issues. The two most common issues include stress and TMJ disorders. High stress can contribute to nightly teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth at night is a tell-tale sign of a jaw disorder.
What are the side effects of clenching and grinding your teeth?
You may notice worn teeth, cracked teeth, pain in your jaw, and pain or discomfort when chewing. If you notice pain in your molars in the morning, you are likely clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Does teeth grinding go away on its own?
This depends on the severity of your issue. It is more likely for bruxism to go away on its own if it is a minor issue. The best way to determine this is to visit your dentist for a consultation.