Teeth grinding at night can occur in both children and adults. This habit is also known as bruxism and is much worse in adulthood.
Because children’s mouths are still changing, they may outgrow it where for adults it can be an ongoing problem. If you’ve got teeth grinding issues, contact our office for an appointment to diagnose and treat this issue – most likely with a dental guard.
Teeth grinding occurs when you unconsciously gnash or clench your teeth. It can happen during the day or at night. During the day, it’s something you can be aware of and control, but at night, your only notice may be that your spouse complains about the noise or you experience symptoms to let you know it’s happening.
In children, bruxism is usually less likely to be caused by stress. Instead, allergies, misaligned bite, toothache, earache and/or mouth irritations are more commons causes. In adults, teeth grinding can be caused by TMJ, sleep disorders, acid reflux, side effects of certain psychiatric medications, stress, anxiety or an abnormal bite. In more rare cases it can relate to Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Grinding teeth can lead to:
Soreness in the jaw
Pain in the teeth
Come into our office for a consultation and exam if you’re suffering any of these symptoms to see if you’re a tooth grinder. Mild cases of bruxism may not require treatment, but if the grinding is ongoing or severe, it can cause significant damage and should be addressed. Left untreated, grinding can wear teeth down so dramatically that crowns, bridges, implants or dentures may be required. If your teeth grinding is damaging your teeth, we can customize a dental guard to protect your teeth.
But we go beyond simply protecting your teeth from the night time grinding, we take a three pronged approach to treating bruxism:
Discover and treat the cause of your grinding
Prevent further damage from grinding
Correct damage already done by grinding
If a misaligned bite is the problem, we can correct it using a variety of non-invasive techniques to get your bite straightened out to prevent the ongoing grinding. Once the grinding itself has been successfully treated, cosmetic dentistry techniques can restore your smile to health to fix teeth that have been chipped, worn or broken by your night time grinding.
If you are showing symptoms of teeth grinding or you notice them in your child, contact Dr. Brad Judy for an appointment and bite analysis. We can treat your grinding and get you the relief you need. Our offices rely on the latest technology so that we can quickly diagnose dental issues and treat them efficiently to restore your smile. Our patients love Dr. Judy’s thorough exams, personal attention and commitment to keeping their teeth in the best possible health.