Bruxism refers to a common dental disorder: the clenching of the jaws and the grinding of the teeth. While bruxism can occur either during the day or at night, most of the damage caused by bruxism occurs while you sleep at night. When people suffer from bruxism, the upper and lower teeth grind against each other, which puts unnecessary strain on the temporomandibular joints as well as the medial pterygoid muscles. This can cause headaches and earaches as well as eating disorders, anxiety, and depression.
Because bruxism is just one of several potential causes of tooth damage, it is often misdiagnosed. Only a dental professional, such as Dr. Douglas Hauck, can determine the difference between the tooth wear caused by bruxism and wear caused by abrasive foods, aggressive brushing, or acidic soft drinks. During your consultation, our dentist will evaluate the severity of your condition and then create a custom treatment plan based on your unique dental needs.
Bruxism has been related to the following diseases and dental problems:
- Gum recession and tooth loss – Bruxism is a common facilitator of both tooth loss and gum recession because it directly damages the soft tissue and leads to loose teeth and deep gum pockets where bacteria can collect. These bacteria will eventually destroy the supporting bone.
- Myofascial pain – Bruxism can shorten and blunt the teeth, which can in turn lead to debilitating myofascial muscle pain and headaches.
- Arthritis – In severe cases, bruxism can lead to arthritis in the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw.
- Occlusal trauma – The abnormal wear patterns that bruxism causes on the chewing surfaces of the teeth can lead to fractures or breakage in the teeth. Additional dental treatments, such as crowns, are often required to restore these damaged teeth.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding in Newport Beach, California
Dr. Douglas Hauck uses a variety of treatments and appliances to treat bruxism. Depending on your individual needs, our dentist may recommend:
- A mouth guard
- BOTOX® therapy
- NTI-tss device
- Relaxation exercises
- Biofeedback mechanisms
- Stress management
Once bruxism is under control, other treatments, such as porcelain crowns, crown lengthening, and gum grafts, can be performed to help you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. For more information on bruxism and how to treat it, please call or visit Douglas Hauck DDS, Inc. today.