Our Severna Park office has experience treating patients who grind their teeth and/or suffer from TMJ disorder (TMD). We offer a range of treatment options including bite guards and corrective procedures to decrease the grinding, clenching, and thus the damage and pain of the teeth and TMJ.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, is a common symptom that patients with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) may experience. Patients can clench or grind their teeth unconsciously during sleep or when under stress. Over time, continual teeth clenching and grinding can wear down the natural enamel and create pressure in the TMJ.
Teeth Grinding Symptoms
Often patients don’t realize that they grind and/or clench their teeth. These parafunctional habits can occur obviously during the day, but most often during sleep. Your dentist may be the first one to point out the signs of teeth grinding which may include:
- Worn, flat, or chipped teeth
- Abraded tooth enamel
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain or tightness in the jaw muscles
- Facial pain
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Professional treatment may involve one or a combination of treatments:
- Information and Palliative Treatment – We will discuss with her patients the ideology of their pain and/or tooth damage. Depending on the ideology and severity, treatment may be as simple as changes in diet, posture, exercise, and over-the-counter pain medications. She calls this “informing and empowering the patient”.
- Bite Guard – our dentists often fabricate a bruxism appliance/mouthguard to protect the teeth during clenching and grinding. A bite guard is a customized, removable appliance similar to a sports mouth guard that is made to fit over your teeth. Most bite guards are worn at night, however, some patients will wear them during high-stress situations during the day.
- Bite Alignment Therapy – we will perform a comprehensive analysis to determine if teeth grinding is due to problems with the alignment of teeth or the TMJ. Depending on the findings, our dentists may recommend various treatments including braces, dental crowns, dental veneers, or dental implants.
- Cosmetic Dentistry to Repair Damage – We may need to repair teeth using dental crowns, porcelain veneers, and/or cosmetic bonding.