What You Need to Know About Teeth Grinding and Clenching

What You Need to Know About Teeth Grinding and Clenching

dentist TulsaGrinding your teeth can lead to long-term side effects that can compromise the health of your teeth and the alignment of your jaw. Grinding can also be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder, as well as being a cause of this uncomfortable condition. If you are grinding your teeth persistently, it is important to seek professional diagnosis and care to prevent eventual damage to your teeth and jawbones.

Causes of Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Teeth grinding and clenching can occur for several reasons, some of which are more easily treated than others. Discovering the root cause of your tooth grinding can help determine the best treatment.

Some causes of teeth grinding include:

  • Stress and tension
  • Malocclusion
  • Misaligned temporomandibular joint

If you notice that you are grinding your teeth, discuss the possible causes with your dentist. Your dentist might also find signs of grinding during a routine exam, such as chips or cracks in the teeth or abnormal patterns of wear.

Treatment for Teeth Grinding and Clenching

The appropriate treatment for teeth grinding greatly depends upon the cause. Many people who grind their teeth due to stress find stress management techniques to be helpful in reducing symptoms. If symptoms increase during a stressful period and decrease during calmer times, this might be a root cause of your problem. Wearing a nightguard to reduce the potential damage caused to your teeth can be an effective treatment for those who tend to grind their teeth heavily during the night.

Misalignment requires more extensive treatment. This can consist of orthodontic treatment, use of veneers and dental bonding to improve your alignment, or treatments specifically intended to correct the alignment of your temporomandibular joint. In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended to restructure the joint.

If you notice abnormal wear and tear, persistent headaches, discomfort in the jaw or ears, or clicking in the jaw joint, please call our Tulsa office at 918-743-9924 for an appointment.