Did you know that many patients come into the office and are seen by Dr. Davey and when he mentions their bruxism, or teeth grinding, they are surprised to hear that is something they do. You see, Dr. Davey can see signs of it in your mouth in an oral exam and can tell if you grind your teeth (usually at night when you sleep) but if it only occurs at night you may have no idea you are doing it.
So, what is Dr. Davey seeing that is clueing him in to your bruxism? For starters, your teeth should have a certain level of roundness to them. Teeth that are straight across and flat are often a sign that grinding or clenching is wearing them down. There can also be signs of damage on the inside of the cheeks and indentations on the tongue that can be clues that teeth grinding is a potential problem.
Symptoms of Bruxism or Teeth Grinding
What symptoms might you be experiencing that you don’t even realize are because of teeth grinding? Do you wake up in the morning with headaches or ear aches? Both of these could be related to bruxism. If your jaw is sore and stiff this could also be a clue. Are your teeth extra sensitive? While this can be a sign of several other things, as well, bruxism is one of them, too!
Treating Bruxism or Teeth Grinding
The most important part of treating teeth grinding, or bruxism, is to get to the source of the problem. If your jaw is out of alignment or your bite is off we want to look into that first. Sometimes, sleep apnea can cause teeth grinding, so we also want to rule that out. The simplest treatment for teeth grinding is a simple custom-fit mouthguard to wear at night to protect your teeth from wearing down. Also, lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help.
For more information on teeth grinding or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 858-538-8300.