Signs you clench and grind your teeth, and what to do about it

Women sleeping on the bed and grinding teethIf you clench and grind your teeth, it may be more than just stress. It could be a chronic condition known as bruxism. Bruxism is the medical term used for patients who clench and grind their teeth. More than just an inconvenience, this condition can also result in significant damage to the smile. At McDowell Dental Group of Abington, PA, we work with patients who have this condition to help them protect their smiles.

Signs of bruxism

Some patients notice that they clench and grind their teeth during the day, and this is definitely a sign that there is a problem. But other patients only clench and grind in their sleep and may not even know! In fact, sometimes they learn that they have the condition from their sleeping partner. Other times, patients with bruxism may exhibit signs such as jaw or tooth pain in the morning, neck and face aches, and waking up due to the noise of grinding. Additionally, patients who see their dentist regularly will be told if they have the condition as a dentist will spot signs such as worn, cracked, or broken teeth or restorations.

What can be done about bruxism?

There are several approaches that may be made in helping a patient who has been diagnosed with bruxism. Oftentimes, Drs. Gary and Ashley McDowell of the McDowell Dental Group will encourage patients to use a special oral appliance. This is a mouthguard-like appliance that fits in the mouth and can prevent clenching and grinding, while also protecting the teeth. Some patients may have coexisting conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder, sometimes referred to as TMJ or TMD. This can contribute to bruxism.

Call the practice of McDowell Dental Group today!

Abington, PA patients who believe they are dealing with bruxism will want to speak to Drs. Gary McDowell and Ashley McDowell about their concerns. With the proper treatment, many patients can save the health of their teeth and gums. We are open to new and returning patients at our practice, conveniently located at 1047 Old York Road and can be reached by calling (215) 885-0555.

Posted in: TMJ disorder

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