How to Recognize and Manage Teeth Grinding

dca-blog_teeth-grinding-purple-woman

Bruxism refers to the habit of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth back and forth. It most often occurs during sleep, and you may not be aware of a problem until tooth damage or painful jaw symptoms develop. Most experts agree that teeth grinding is a stress-related condition. Whether or not it causes extensive damage depends on a number of factors including sleep habits, diet, stress levels, posture, and proper alignment of teeth. Over time, untreated teeth clenching and grinding leads to shortened teeth and osteoarthritis of the jaw.

Teeth Clenching and Teeth Grinding
Symptoms


Teeth clenching and grinding place intense pressure on the jaw muscles and other tissues. In addition to waking up sleeping partners and wearing down teeth, it can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. The following symptoms may indicate nighttime teeth grinding:

  • Anxiety, depression, and tension
  • Headache
  • Jaw tenderness or pain
  • Ear pain or fullness
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Eating disorders
  • Insomnia

Treatment Tips forTeeth Grinding

The tips listed below can help relieve discomfort, and protect your teeth from teeth clenching and grinding behaviors:

  • Remain hydrated.
  • Apply moist heat or ice to painful jaw muscles.
  • Deliberately relax your face and jaw muscles throughout the day.
  • Get massage therapy for your face, neck, back, and shoulders.
  • Use relaxation techniques, biofeedback, self-hypnosis, or cognitive therapy to reduce stress-related bruxism. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
  • Ask your doctor about physical therapy.
  • Stay away from tough or hard foods like steak and nuts.
  • Avoid chewing gum.
  • Your dentist can create a custom mouth guard or splint to reduce the damage caused by tooth grinding, or evaluate your jaw and teeth for orthodontic treatment.
  • Surgery may be recommended in severe cases, but only as a last resort.

Prognosis and Complicationsof Bruxism

While teeth grinding is not a dangerous condition, it can cause permanent tooth damage and chronic jaw problems. It can also indirectly lead to complications such as fractured teeth, receding gums, eating disorders, and bone loss. If your teeth grinding symptoms do not improve with self-care, or you have trouble eating or opening your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist immediately for a full evaluation.

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in South Bend, call The Dental Center of Indiana today at (855) 979-3358 or make an appointment.

The Dental Center offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in South Bend. With 4 affiliated practices throughout Indiana, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At The Dental Center of Indiana, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at The Dental Center of Indiana.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Very professional staff.
George O.
This was my second visit to the dental center in Goshen they are wonderful. My first visit was a cleaning. My second was to put my crown back on after it came off. They are awesome thank you so much […]
Sue M.
Took my 5-year-old to get cavities filled, he actually fell asleep! I got to stay with him the whole time. The staff was amazing, I would highly recommend this office.
Angela F.
Pleasant staff.
Cora R.
The service was excellent from the moment I walked in. The entire staff had a genuine, welcoming smile and seemed to care about every client. I have rarely seen such authentic friendliness and caring […]
Lori H.
Did very well at getting my daughter to get to know you better before you just took her to do her teeth
Skyaira P.
Freindly and caring staff and dentist. They explain everything they are doing. They make sure you like their work before you leave.
Debbie S.
We have been with The Dental Center for about 6 years now and have never been let down with the quality of service and knowledge. Thank you!
Clarissa L.
The overall experience was superb.
Kyara W.
Staff is very personable and friendly.
Sherry D.
I went in for a tooth that had me in excruciating pain. Everyone was so nice! They got me right in and even called to schedule the root canal for me!
Angela P.
Dr listened to my ideas and concerns before looking at my teeth. He inspired confidence right away. No one has done that before
Ruth H.
Very professional and time efficient. Boys were both comfortable.
Aaron A.
Great caring staff
Jackson S.
If you need a dentist and are scared due to past experiences don’t worry, go to the dental center of Mishawaka and not only will your teeth look good and will show them off with a smile but […]
George K.
Everyone was very nice. I liked how my options were explained to me and then received a statement that clearly indicates the financial responsibility of each procedure.
Randy N.
Nice, clean office, friendly staff
Marci H.
The hygienist knew what she was doing and was very thourough with my cleaning. The dentist gave me practical ways to improve my oral health.
Amy S.
Very helpful!
Frederic D.
Quality of care. Reasonable charges.
John P.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here