Many patients grind their teeth unknowingly because they typically do so during sleep. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be a result of stress or the symptom of a temporomandibular disorder which is causing an imbalance in the bite (malocclusion).
If left untreated, teeth grinding often leads to more complex dental issues, including gum disease and tooth loss. It can also be the root cause of frequent headaches and jaw pain due to the pressure put on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Dr. Morgan will notice the signs of teeth grinding during regular preventive care visits:
Worn, flat or chipped teeth
Abraded tooth enamel
Jaw pain or tightness in the jaw muscles
Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
If Dr. Morgan notices signs of tooth grinding in a patient, she will take the time to evaluate a patient’s oral health and consult with them about possible stressors that may be the cause before recommending a plan of treatment that is designed to not only prevent further bruxism, but to restore balance to the occlusal system if necessary.
Dr. Morgan may suggest one of the following treatments for a patient who is grinding their teeth:
-palliative treatment: Dr. Morgan will inform her patients on the ideology of teeth grinding and help them identify the cause of their bruxism as well as triggers- lifestyle changes may be suggested to help reduce teeth grinding and its effects.
-bite guard: this conservative treatment involves wearing a custom fit oral appliance at night to prevent tooth grinding.
-bite alignment therapy: Dr. Morgan may suggest a variety of procedures that will realign the bite and prevent bruxism.
-cosmetic procedures: damaged or chipped teeth may need a cosmetic procedure to help align the bite properly.
If you have noticed any signs of teeth grinding or suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, schedule an appointment with Dr. Morgan in Severna Park and restore oral health.