Roughly 20 percent of adults grind or clench their teeth. If you are one of these grinders, chances are you are doing more damage to your teeth than you thought possible. Often, teeth grinding and clenching can result in permanent tooth and jaw damage.
Bruxism, which is another name for teeth grinding, can be a serious problem. Take a look at your teeth. If you see flattened, worn, or chipped teeth, there is a good possibility that you grind your teeth. Jaw pain or tightness, gum sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, earaches and headaches, and jaw clicking or popping are also symptoms. If you experience any of these conditions, call The Richmond Smile Center immediately.
Often, bruxism can be corrected with the help of a mouth guard. Usually, these devices are worn at night to keep teeth from rubbing together. I’m Dr. Charles Martin, and I can help you determine if a night guard is right for you.
Help remedy your teeth grinding problem by trying the following:
Work to relieve stress. Meditation, deep breathing, exercise, and enjoyable hobbies will help to relieve stress. Try to relax, especially right before you go to bed. Try holding a warm washcloth against your jaw for 10 minutes to relax your jaw muscles.
Cut back on alcohol and caffeine. Both substances can make a grinding problem worse, especially if you consume them shortly before bedtime.
Train yourself not to clench. If you notice that you are pressing your teeth together, make a conscious effort to hold them apart even if your lips are sealed. With time, you can train yourself to not clench and grind your teeth.
I invite you to come in for an appointment at my Richmond, Virginia office to discuss ways to help you beat your bruxism. If your teeth have been damaged already, I can recommend restorative procedures that will help to restore your smile.