Many patients grind their teeth or clench their jaw unknowingly. Many patients participate in the habit only while asleep while others may do so in times of heightened stress throughout their day. Teeth grinding is known medically as bruxism and is often believed to occur as a result of stress. Patients of any age may grind their teeth.
Teeth grinding is a common underlying cause of a painful disorder known as TMD or TMJ. The constant grinding or clenching of the jaw can damage the joint and delicate system of muscles and nerves. Patients with TMJ suffer from chronic pain, headaches and may have difficulty chewing. Teeth grinding can also cause tooth sensitivity, chips, cracks and worn down teeth.
If you grind your teeth you may notice that you frequently wake up with a headache. You may also experience pain or discomfort in your face and neck and muscle tension in your jaw, shoulders and even your temple area.
Dr. Sang and his associates provide thorough bruxism screenings during each of your routine dental health exams. Catching the signs of teeth grinding early on can help prevent damage to the bite and teeth. Patients who grind their teeth typically show patterns of wear on their teeth making it fairly easy to diagnose.
Because most patients grind their teeth during their sleep, it becomes difficult to prevent the habit without the use of an oral sleep appliance. Oral sleep appliances are custom designed to comfortably and securely fit over the teeth. The device prevents the jaw from grinding together and allows the joint and muscles to fully relax and heal during sleep.
Dr. Sang also offers cosmetic and restorative solutions for repairing damage caused by years of teeth grinding. Dental crowns, veneers or bonding may be used in combination with oral sleep appliance therapy to fully rebuild your smile and restore your oral health.