Protect Your Smile with Teeth Grinding Treatment

Teeth Grinding Treatment - Woodinville, WA

Feb 8, 2016 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: Teeth Grinding Dental Crowns Restorative Dentistry

A man and woman with beautiful, healthy teethTeeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a harmful habit. Chronic teeth grinding can lead to severe dental problems, including tooth loss. Restorative dentistry treatments can repair the damage caused by teeth grinding, restoring dental health and appearance. If you suffer from teeth grinding, it's important to seek treatment to protect your oral health. To find out if teeth grinding treatment is right for you, contact our Woodinville, WA dentists, Drs. Cristin Dowd and Ken Wu.

The Causes of Teeth Grinding

When treating teeth grinding, it's beneficial to determine the cause since addressing the underlying causes can prevent teeth grinding. There are a number of reasons a person may suffer from teeth grinding:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal bite
  • Crooked teeth
  • Missing teeth

Teeth Grinding Treatments

Teeth grinding and clenching most commonly occurs during sleep but can also happen during the day. When left untreated, bruxism can lead to many oral health problems like dental fracture, enamel wear, gum recession, and tooth loss. Treating teeth grinding is vital to protecting oral health, dental function, and the smile's appearance. Patients who suffer from chronic bruxism may find these teeth grinding treatments beneficial:

  • Mouth guards and splints: Custom-made mouth guards and splints are two options for protecting the teeth from the damage caused by bruxism. Both mouth guards and splints can be worn during sleep to lessen the strain of jaw clenching and to create a protective barrier between the teeth.
  • Orthodontics:Teeth grinding caused by alignment issues and crooked teeth may be alleviated with orthodontics. 
  • Missing tooth replacement: Replacing missing teeth with treatments like dental implants or dental bridges can treat bruxism caused by tooth loss.
  • Stress management: Teeth grinding or jaw clenching caused by stressed may be alleviated with stress-reducing activities, including yoga, meditation, walking, or even reading.

The Importance of Treating Teeth Grinding

If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to severe dental damage, which is why it's so important to seek treatment if you suffer from bruxism. Chronic teeth grinding can result in such oral health problems as:

  • Enamel wear: Teeth grinding produces friction, which can wear away the enamel over time.
  • Dental fractures: The strain and pressure of teeth grinding can lead to fractured or broken teeth.
  • Tooth decay: Teeth grinding can increase the risk of tooth decay when enamel erosion or fractures are present. This is because enamel erosion and fractures allow bacteria and plaque to reach the inner structures of the teeth, allowing decay to set in.
  • Gum recession: Teeth grinding increases the risk of gum recession, making the portions of the teeth usually protected by the gums vulnerable to decay.
  • Loose teeth: Teeth grinding can loosen the teeth within their sockets.
  • Tooth loss: Tooth loss can occur as a result of teeth grinding either from severely loosened teeth, gum recession, decay, or other damage. In some cases, the teeth may be worn down or require extraction.

Discover Your Treatment Options

For more information about treatment for teeth grinding, or to discuss other dental care needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Drs. Dowd and Wu.

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