Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) In Lakewood, CO

Showing Extracted tooth to patient

What is Teeth Grinding?

Here’s everything you need to know about teeth grinding in Lakewood, Colorado.

Teeth grinding, clinically known as bruxism, is a repetitive, involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth, often occurring during sleep (sleep bruxism) or when awake (awake bruxism). It can result in the wearing down of tooth enamel, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, headaches, and even damage to dental restorations. The exact cause of bruxism is multifactorial, involving factors such as stress, anxiety, misaligned teeth, and lifestyle habits.

While occasional teeth grinding is common, persistent and severe bruxism can have detrimental effects on oral health. Dentists often diagnose and treat bruxism by recommending mouthguards or splints to protect teeth from further damage. Managing stress, practicing relaxation techniques, and addressing any underlying dental issues are essential in mitigating this condition's impact on both dental health and overall well-being.

How Do I Know If I Grind My Teeth At Night?

Here are some of the signs that you may grind your teeth in your sleep.

  • Waking up with jaw pain, headaches, or a sore face can be indicative of nighttime teeth grinding.
  • Increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods can result from worn enamel due to grinding.
  • Fractured, chipped, or flattened teeth may be a sign of chronic grinding.
  • If someone shares a bed with you, they might hear grinding noises during the night.
  • Recurrent cheek or tongue biting can occur in severe cases.
  • Your dentist may notice tongue scalloping or indentations on the sides, suggesting tongue pressure against teeth.

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What Are The Treatments For Teeth Grinding?

Most Lakewood, Colorado dentists will follow these steps.

Treatment for teeth grinding, or bruxism, varies depending on its severity and underlying causes:

  • Mouthguards or Splints: Custom-fitted dental appliances, worn during sleep, protect teeth from grinding and reduce the associated symptoms.
  • Myofunctional therapy: This non-invasive approach aims to reduce grinding frequency and intensity by strengthening oral muscles and correcting improper habits like tongue thrusting.
  • Stress Management: If stress or anxiety triggers bruxism, techniques like meditation, relaxation exercises, and counseling can help.
  • Nasal Breathing Protocol: Nasal resistance can increase collapsibility of the airway, which can lead to bruxism/clenching as an airway protective mechanism.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can assist in identifying and modifying the habits leading to grinding.
  • Dental Corrections: In some cases, orthodontic treatment to correct misaligned teeth or dental restorations may be necessary.
  • Medications: Muscle relaxants, Botox injections, or medications for anxiety or sleep disorders may be prescribed in severe cases.
  • Biofeedback: This technique helps individuals become more aware of their grinding habits, making it easier to control.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding chewing gum, and relaxing jaw muscles with warm compresses can aid in managing bruxism.

The choice of treatment depends on an individual's specific situation and should be discussed with a dentist to effectively address teeth grinding and its associated symptoms.

FAQs About Teeth Grinding In Lakewood, Colorado

These are the most common questions we get about teeth grinding in Lakewood, Colorado.

Can teeth grinding be completely cured?

With the right therapy and treatment, teeth grinding (bruxism) can be cured. By address the root cause of the teeth grinding, your body can train itself to stop the habit and reduce its frequency and severity.

How can I reduce the impact of teeth grinding on my daily life?

To reduce the impact of teeth grinding, or bruxism, consider wearing a mouthguard at night, managing stress through relaxation techniques, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, not chewing gum, and taking on myofunctional therapy exercises. Regular dental check-ups can help monitor your oral health and the effects of grinding.

What should I do if I experience jaw pain or headaches due to grinding?

If you experience jaw pain or headaches due to teeth grinding, consult a dentist for evaluation and treatment. They can provide solutions such as a custom mouthguard to alleviate discomfort and protect your teeth from further damage caused by grinding. 

Are there specific foods or substances that can worsen teeth grinding?

Certain foods and substances like caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can potentially worsen teeth grinding (bruxism) in some individuals. Reducing consumption of these items may help manage the condition and alleviate its effects on dental health.

Can teeth grinding cause tooth damage that requires dental work?

Yes, teeth grinding can lead to tooth damage that may necessitate dental work. It can result in worn enamel, fractures, or even broken teeth. Treatments like fillings, crowns, or dental restorations may be required to repair the damage and restore the tooth's functionality and appearance.

Is teeth grinding hereditary?

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can have a hereditary component. Research suggests that genetics may play a role in an individual's susceptibility to developing bruxism. However, it's not solely determined by genetics; environmental factors, stress, and lifestyle also contribute to its occurrence.

Can children grind their teeth?

Yes, children can grind their teeth, a condition known as pediatric bruxism. It is often a sign of an undiagnosed airway issue (narrow arches, tonsil and adenoid enlargement, airway compromise).

Learn More About Teeth Grinding In Lakewood, Colorado

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Achieving Balance in Oral Health

We’re Not Just Tooth Doctors.

We look at your whole health.

At Fox Point Dental in Lakewood, Colorado, we take a holistic approach to dentistry and focus on the overall health of our patients. As functional dentists, we don't just treat dental issues at face value. We investigate the root cause of the problem to provide long-lasting solutions.

Good oral hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, as well as regular dental cleanings, are essential. However, they don't always address the underlying cause of dental issues such as tooth decay, misaligned teeth, bad breath, and others. These problems can stem from airway obstructions, overcrowded mouths, and narrow dental arches resulting from mouth breathing and sleep-disordered breathing.

Our focus on functional dentistry allows us to address the source of the problem and prevent future dental problems, while improving the quality of your life. Our aim is to help you and your loved ones smile with confidence, breathe easier, and lead a healthier life. We cater to patients of all ages and provide comprehensive dental care, from preventative cleanings to advanced procedures.

Are you ready to smile more, breathe freely, and live better?