Helping Patients Make Healthy Choices… Please Call Us Today

Teeth Grinding Causes & What to Do

Do you grind your teeth? Many people either grind or clench their teeth, sometimes without even realizing it. The medical term for grinding or clenching teeth is bruxism. Sometimes, people grind their teeth in their sleep, and sleep bruxism is a sleep disorder that’s categorized as a sleep related movement disorder. Over time, teeth grinding can damage teeth and dental restorations causing oral health concerns.

Why do people grind their teeth?

There are many different answers to this question. Sometimes it happens because of stress, anxiety, or anger. Grinding teeth in sleep can be caused by a problem with the teeth, like missing or crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Sleep apnea can also contribute to the problem of grinding teeth. Sometimes teeth grinding can be caused by a neurological disorder like Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, some medications, including antidepressants, can cause bruxism.

Does it matter if you grind your teeth?

There are actually several teeth grinding symptoms that can be detrimental. Excessively grinding the teeth can cause them to fracture, loosen, or fall out. Sometimes, the teeth can be worn down to stumps, causing the need for replacement, whether through bridges, crowns, implants, or dentures. Grinding the teeth can also cause pain in the jaw, neck, and face, or a dull headache that starts in the temples. It can even feel like an earache, even though there’s no problem with the ears. Sleep bruxism can disrupt a person’s sleep and can sometimes even be loud enough to disrupt a sleep partner!

Can anything be done about bruxism?

It may be time to talk to your dentist about finding a solution. Your dentist might recommend a mouth guard for grinding teeth, or may suggest corrections to your teeth that can alleviate your teeth grinding, perhaps by fixing a misaligned bite or repairing broken teeth. If a teeth grinding mouth guard is the best solution for you, your dentist will make a custom-make fit one. Some mouth guards are made to be worn during the day, and they’re discreet enough that people won’t notice you’re wearing one. Most mouth guards for teeth grinding are worn at night, though, and having one custom made will ensure that your mouth guard doesn’t cause your teeth to shift.

At West County Dental, we provide personalized family dental care, including bruxism treatment like a mouth guard for teeth grinding, using state of the art procedures. Adhering to a standard of excellence, we provide comprehensive treatment, from preventive care to restorative dentistry. When you make an appointment with West County Dental, you can be confident that our team of highly-trained dental professionals will provide you the care you need for a healthy smile. Call (314) 488-2921 or contact us to reserve an appointment today!