Bruxism – or tooth grinding – is a common problem that presents itself at Apex Dental. While it may be common for people to grind their teeth, it is not healthy and should be treated by a dentist to avoid long term and potentially serious damage to the teeth.
Advanced Training & Experience
Dr. Robert Gauthier is one of the leading dentists in the Boston and Worcester region for the diagnosis and treatment of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders. Dr. Gauthier has completed hundreds of hours in post-graduate training, focusing on TMJ Disorders as well as the complex dental problems that occur as a result of long term TMJ dysfunction.
Signs & Symptoms of Bruxism
Most teeth grinding happens at night, so many patients don’t even realize they have a problem. That’s why routine visits to the dentist are so important. Through a simple examination, the dentist can easily identify signs and symptoms of bruxism.
Some common signs and symptoms of teeth grinding include:
• Worn or broken teeth
• Stress fractures or chipped teeth
• Sore muscles in the face and neck
• Headaches, especially in the morning
• Clicking or popping jaw
• Limited mobility in the jaw or “locked” jaw
• Earaches without ear infection
Treatment for Tooth Grinding
Treatment for tooth grinding varies widely based on the individual diagnosis. Dr. Gauthier will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause for tooth grinding and create a personalized treatment plan to take care of your needs.
Splint Therapy / Night Guard
A dental splint or teeth grinding mouth guard is a common form of treatment. This type of treatment is appropriate for patients whose teeth fit together properly and who have a healthy TMJ. A teeth grinding mouth guard may also be used to prevent teeth grinding during TMJ therapy and bite equilibration treatments.
The dentist will create a custom fit mouth guard or splint that fits comfortably over the teeth. The purpose of the teeth grinding mouth guard is to protect teeth and alleviate pressure caused by clenching. A teeth grinding mouth guard is typically worn at night, though some patients do benefit from wearing the mouth guard during stressful periods of the day, for example while driving.
If the teeth are not in proper position, orthodontics may be needed to reposition the teeth, allowing them to fit together harmoniously. For adults who wish to avoid traditional metal braces, Dr. Gauthier offers invisible braces for more discreet and comfortable treatment.
Bite equilibration, or bite correction therapy, involves the dentist making minor adjustments to the teeth to allow them to fit together properly, eliminating stress and pressure. The dentist may reshape the teeth by removing tooth structure or adding to teeth using dental crowns or veneers.
If significant damage has been done to the teeth, exposing layers of teeth, restorative dentistry may be needed to bring the teeth back to their proper health and beauty. Dr. Gauthier may use dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding to restore teeth.
Get the Right Fit and Stop Teeth Grinding
Like most dental problems, teeth grinding is easiest to treat the earlier it is caught. The long term risks of teeth grinding include tooth loss, gum disease and TMJ related problems. Contact Apex Dental today to schedule a consultation and learn about how to stop your teeth grinding.
Call 508-407-7023 or schedule an appointment online.