Many people suffer from a dental problem that they may not be aware of. We’re speaking, of course, about teeth grinding. While it may seem like a minor problem, it can actually result in major dental health issues that could require extensive treatment and therapies to properly address. When you meet with a skilled Livingston cosmetic dentist, you will be able to find out if you suffer from teeth grinding and how it can best be addressed.

About Teeth Grinding

Also referred to as bruxism, teeth grinding involves the clenching, gnashing, or clamping of the teeth during sleep. It can be caused by a wide variety of factors.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

By far the most common cause of teeth grinding is tooth misalignment. When your teeth are not aligned properly, your lower jaw will often reposition the teeth in order to find a proper at-rest position. This places a lot of stress on the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint.

Another common cause of teeth grinding is stress. Feelings of anxiety or stress can cause you to grind your teeth at night. At our Livingston cosmetic dentistry center, we will be sure to identify the root cause of the bruxism before creating a treatment plan.

Dangers of Teeth Grinding

There are numerous dangers to teeth grinding. The basic signs that you may notice if you grind your teeth include headaches and ear aches, jaw pain, gum pain, and tooth pain. If the bruxism goes untreated, the following major problems may occur.

Tooth Damage

Because of the stress and wear you place on your teeth, you may notice chips, cracks, and more severe damage to the teeth over time. This may require major restorative treatment if the bruxism is severe.

TMJ Disorders

Because the jaw joint is constantly working and put under major stress, it can lead to issues with alignment. This means people can experience clicking, popping, locking, and pain of the jaw joint from tooth grinding. This is better known as a TMJ disorder, a common side effect from teeth grinding.

Treatments for These Dental Problems

The treatment for you dental problem will depend on your unique needs. For major tooth damage, the best option is usually to use Livingston dental crowns. These will cap the damaged teeth and protect them from damage. If you have developed a TMJ disorder from teeth grinding, we can use various treatments to help address that matter. To ease stress on the jaw and wear on the teeth, many patients are given bite guards that help prevent contact between teeth at night.

But beyond the aesthetic issues and functional issues that happen because of teeth grinding, the best treatment will identify and treat the actual cause of the teeth grinding. If you are under lots of stress, relaxation techniques and exercise may be able to prevent teeth grinding. For tooth misalignment, Invisalign® teeth straightening will often be quite helpful, aligning the teeth and ensuring less restlessness of the jaw as you sleep.

Learn More About Restorative Dentistry Treatments

If you notice any signs or symptoms of teeth grinding and would like to learn more about the various treatment options that are available to you, be sure to contact our Livingston cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and discussing all of your treatment options in full detail.