Grind Your Teeth? What Causes It And How To Treat It

Posted on: 19 January 2017

If you grind your teeth, this is known as bruxism, and it can cause great damage, as well as have other symptoms. Below is some information about this, as well as how it can be treated so you can prevent teeth problems in the future.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

The main symptoms of grinding your teeth is pain in your jaw and tension headaches. If you wake up feeling jaw pain every morning, then you are doing this while you are asleep.

Over time, this grinding will cause a lot of damage to your teeth as it will wear down the enamel, as well as chip, fracture, or flatten your teeth. If you have a spouse, you may wake them up in the middle of the night because grinding your teeth can be loud. You may notice your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold foods and liquids.

Protect Your Teeth

The dentist will ask you to wear a guard at night while you are sleeping to protect your teeth. You can purchase a mouth guard at pharmacy stores, and they are generally made of plastic or rub. These night guards are not comfortable, however. Instead, ask your dentist to have a mouth guard custom made to fit your mouth, which would be more comfortable for you.

Use Botox

Some dentists use Botulin Toxin type A (Botox) to treat this condition. You will receive a series of Botox injections in the muscles in your jaw, such as the masseter muscle. This relaxes these muscles to prevent teeth grinding while you are sleeping. The treatment is done in the office and only takes a few minutes to do the injections.

The effects of Botox only last a few weeks, however, and you will have to have more Botox injections to continue the treatment. See a cosmetic dentist to learn more about this type of treatment.

Treat the Underlying Problem

Grinding teeth is often due to anxiety and stress. There are psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, that work swell to treat anxiety and stress. You will speak with a therapist about yourself, your actions, your feelings, and your thoughts. This can help get to the root cause of the problem.  

If you are stressed you can help also by doing yoga, reading a book, getting a massage, and listening to soft music.  The therapist can give you many more tips to help with your anxiety and stress and you may need to take medications.

Talk with your dentist for more information about teeth grinding to help you understand what treatment would work best for you.