A hefty percentage of our population includes “bruxers,” otherwise know as “grinders.” This damaging “habit” isn’t something you can just convince yourself not to do as it’s often a nighttime occurrence. Today we will talk about the steps to take if you know you grind your teeth.
Let Go of Assumptions
It’s a common misconception that people who grind their teeth are stressed out beyond control. Although stress found in and around the face and neck muscles often comes from mental distress, there are other physical conditions that influence our mouth. Missing or crooked teeth is usually what complicates the relationship between the top and bottom jaws. Poorly adjusted dental work and improperly constructed partials and dentures can also lead to a destructive grinding habit. Medical conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease have also been closely related to tooth grinding. Instead of rationalizing the headaches and tooth problems commonly associated with grinding, find out for sure why you are doing it.
Make a Plan and Stick to It
The only effective way to figure out why you are grinding is to get an evaluation by an experienced dentist who specializes in bite analysis and TMJ disorders. Personalized treatment plans often include stabilizing and repairing teeth that may be causing the jaw joint imbalance. Orthodontic correction is often used when the teeth are simply out of alignment. Replacing missing teeth or building Splints or night guards to protect the joint, teeth and muscles in the face can turn a bad situation around literally overnight!
Change What You Can
Once you get professional help for your grinding situation, it’s time to make the lifestyle changes that help prevent future problems. Tobacco, caffeine and alcohol habits can interfere with a good night’s sleep so a reduction in their amounts or eliminating them completely will help immensely. Take breaks throughout the day to relax your body and stretch tired muscles. If you’ve been given a night guard to wear, make sure you follow advice and use it every night.
If you’ve discovered that you grind your teeth, there’s no reason to live with headaches and jaw pain, chipped teeth or broken fillings. Call our office today for a consultation and customized treatment plan for a more comfortable tomorrow.