Bruxism can severely degrade tooth enamel. Therefore, this condition, otherwise known as teeth grinding, can wreak havoc on a person's dental health and the appearance of their smile. People often grind their teeth while sleeping. Therefore, they can be doing real damage to their teeth while they are asleep at night.
What Causes Bruxism?
Scientists cannot explain the exact cause of teeth grinding. However, research shows that it can be linked to stress, anxiety, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine use, snoring, sleep apnea, and tiredness. In most cases psychological and psychiatric reasons come into play. Bruxism may be short-lived and go away after a while or can be a cause for concern. When the condition affects people during the day, it is called daytime bruxism. If it occurs at night when a person is sleeping, it is known as sleep bruxism. While sleep bruxism is related to sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or snoring, daytime bruxism may result from stress or conditions, such as TMD or TMJ.
How Is Severe Bruxism Treated?
If bruxism is severe, it can do some real damage to the teeth. In this case, we may suggest that the patient wear a special appliance to keep from grinding their teeth. In some cases, we may treat the problem by correcting a TMD or TMJ disorder. The key to treating the condition is to know the source of the problem. If clenching or grinding the teeth has a psychological cause, a patient may need to go through a therapy program, such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Behavior modification may also be used to reduce the incidence of grinding the teeth. If the bruxism is causing dental concerns, we may have to see how we can remedy the problem through oral maxillofacial surgery.
Do you have problems with teeth grinding to the point where it is affecting your dental health? If so, you need to contact our office immediately. While mild cases of bruxism don't cause much concern, more severe cases should be investigated and treated. Give us a call now to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning and exam.
Century Dental Dr. Jefferson Call, DMD & Dr. Dix Densley, DDS