Help For People Who Suffer From Tooth Grinding
If you wake up with dull headaches or vice-like pain, you may be one of those unfortunate people who grind their teeth at night.
Many people are completely unaware that they even have the disorder (called “bruxism”) because it often occurs only at night during sleep. However, as dentists (during a regular examination) we can usually detect the telltale signs of wear on your teeth.
Bruxism can either directly or indirectly cause many problems. Grinding can cause your teeth to become painful or loose. Some patients can literally grind away parts of their teeth, leaving them with worn surfaces or fractured enamel.
Although continued research is needed to determine the exact cause of bruxism, it is thought that both physical and emotional factors may be involved. Some of the contributing factors may be crooked or missing teeth, stress, sleep disorders, or an abnormal bite.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to treat bruxism. As dentists, we can determine which single treatment or combination of treatments may be right for you if you suffer from that disorder. To alleviate muscle pain, physical therapy may be needed. If stress is the major cause of bruxism, people need to find ways to relax. People who have difficulty handling stress may need to seek counselling, or the dentist may prescribe muscle relaxants to relax jaw muscles. Because an abnormal bite may predispose a person to grind, dental treatment may involve removing the “high spots” of a tooth.
Yet another treatment involves an acrylic “Bite-plate” at night to protect against tooth grinding. The “Bite-plate” is a removable device that prevents the teeth from coming together, and places the stress on the device itself, instead of your teeth, joints and muscles.
Grinding is a common occurrence among many people at some time or another. If you develop facial pain, fatigue or other problems, some form of treatment may be in order. Please talk with one of our dentists if you suspect that you may be grinding your teeth. The dentist can help relieve you from the “daily grind” of bruxism.
Yours for better dental health,
Dr. Russell Grover