Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a destructive habit that most do involuntarily. It occurs day or night and damages teeth by grinding them down or damaging the jaw joints. Fortunately, teeth grinding is completely treatable. At Smile On Dental Studio in St. Louis, our dentist can reduce or even eliminate your teeth grinding habit in addition to restoring damaged teeth. With proper treatment, you are well on your way to having attractive and healthy teeth with a comfortable bite.
If you notice that you grind your teeth while you sleep or during the day, please call (314) 678-7876 today for an appointment with neuromuscular dentist Dr. Chris Hill at Smile On Dental Studio in St. Louis.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
There are many different causes of teeth grinding. Some of the most common include:
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnea
- Bite problems
- Certain medications
- Habitual grinding related to mental or physical effort
- Lifestyle factors like tobacco, caffeine, or alcohol use
In most cases, teeth grinding is related to anxiety and stress. On the bright side, these types of cases tend to be transient and are less likely to cause long-lasting damage to joints or teeth. Treating this type of bruxism includes eliminating the cause of stress.
Other people may grind their teeth when they concentrate or clench their teeth when putting forth a lot of physical effort. These cases tend to cause less damage unless chronic or related to bite problems.
There are some medications like antidepressants that lead to bruxism. Talk to your doctor if bruxism is a side effect of any of your medications if the habit started after taking a new medication.
People who use tobacco, or who consume alcohol or caffeinated beverages in excess are also more likely to have a damaging tooth grinding habit. Illegal drug use like MDMA is also known to cause damaging bruxism.
Lastly, bruxism can either be caused by bite problems like TMJ or be the cause of bite problems by damaging the joints. When your jaw doesn’t rest in a comfortable position, your muscles have to work extra hard to find a comfortable resting position. As a result you grind your teeth.
Protect Your Teeth from Bruxism
If you know that you grind your teeth, it’s incredibly important to protect your teeth as best as you can in order to prevent future damage. At Smile On Dental Studio, we can provide you with a bite guard to protect your teeth from bruxism. This will protect your teeth from the force of your bite either throughout the day or when you sleep.
If our St. Louis dentist suspects TMJ or bite problems, we will need to complete additional treatments on top of wearing the bite guard to address the problem as a whole. You may also need to change certain lifestyle choices or habits to completely protect your teeth from severe damage. In the meantime, you can count on your bite guard to protect you until the underlying problems are addressed.
Restoring Your Smile
How long you have been grinding your teeth determines how severe the damage is. It’s possible you might need no restorations, but some need a mouth full of dental crowns. Restoring your smile from bruxism is important to complete in conjunction with wearing a bite guard to prevent further damage.
Dr. Chris Hill at Smile On Dental Studio studied neuromuscular dentistry to help his patients solve their bruxism problems. Patients who suffer from bruxism often have sensitive teeth because they’ve worn down their enamel and exposed the dentin. They may also experience significant decay near their tooth roots due to the exposed dentin. When teeth become severely damaged from bruxism, they either need to be restored or at times extracted and replaced with dental implants.
If you notice that you grind or clench your teeth during the day or at night, give our St. Louis dentist a call for a custom bite guard and further evaluation to prevent further damage from occurring. Please call (314) 678-7876 today for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Chris Hill.