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Teeth Grinding Causes and Treatments

jaw-painMany of us get through frustrating or tense situations in life by clinching our teeth. But for some people, grinding of the teeth is a serious problem. Teeth grinding can be a symptom of stress, anger, or anxiety and may occur when the person is asleep. In fact, because it is often an unconscious action, many people are not even aware that they grind their teeth. A sore jaw or dull headache may be an indication that you are grinding your teeth.

Chronic teeth grinding, which is also called by the medical name bruxism, can result in teeth that are eroded, chipped, broken, loosened, or completely lost.Long-term grinding can wear teeth down until there are only stumps left inside the mouth. In the worst cases of teeth grinding, bridges, crowns, dental implants, partial dentures, and complete dentures may be needed to correct the damage.

A La Jolla cosmetic dentist from the Scripps Center for Dental Care can help repair teeth damaged by grinding by placing dental crowns or other dental restorations. Our cosmetic dentists are trained to identify the damage caused by teeth grinding so we can help find the best treatment to prevent further damage and restore damaged teeth to their previous condition.

Teeth Grinding Causes

Teeth grinding may be the result of any number of psychological and physical factors. In young children, a leading cause of bruxism is growth and development of the teeth and jaws. Growing teeth in children age eight and younger can cause discomfort in the mouth that leads to grinding of the teeth.

Other common causes of teeth grinding include:

Suppressed anger or frustration
Abnormal alignment of teeth
Medications taken to treat depression or other psychological disorders
Complications from another disease, such as Huntington or Parkinson’s disease

Teeth Grinding Treatments

If you are grinding your teeth and want to stop, you should speak with a dentist to find out what can be done. There are several effective treatments for the condition, including:

Using a plastic mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding while you are asleep
Counseling or other stress-reducing techniques
Physical therapy
Prescription muscle-relaxing drugs
Refraining from drinking alcohol, which can cause sleep-time teeth grinding
Reducing foods or drinks that are high in caffeine, such as coffee, chocolate and cola soda
Placing a warm washcloth against the cheek before going to bed to help relax the jaw muscles
Some patients undergo the placement of dental crowns in La Jolla to treat teeth that have been damaged by bruxism.

Contact Our La Jolla Cosmetic Dentist

Teeth grinding is a common problem that can result in serious and permanent damage to the teeth and may be a symptom of other physical or psychological problems. Grinding of the teeth may so badly damage the teeth that dental implants or other treatments are necessary to repair the damage. A La Jolla cosmetic dentist from the Scripps Center for Dental Care can evaluate your individual condition and recommend the best way to fix the damage. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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