Do you or your child grind your teeth or clench your jaw?
Bruxism is an oral habit that can damage the health and function of the teeth, gums, and jaw joint. Bruxism occurs when the teeth of the upper and lower jaws grind together. Bruxism commonly goes undiagnosed until damage has occurred to the teeth, jaw or both. Grinding of the teeth can cause inflammation or even permanent damage to the alignment and function of the delicate jaw joint known as the temporomandibular joint, and can lead to chronic pain symptoms.
Teeth grinding can affect patients of all ages and is a serious condition at any age. Emerging science indicates that children who grind their teeth are exhibiting a symptom of sleep-disordered breathing. Stress can trigger clenching of the teeth in teens and adults. Dr. Robinson will make personalized recommendations on how to address your specific symptoms and concerns.
Signs you may be grinding your teeth include:
- Headaches in the morning
- Jaw pain
- Tension in your shoulders, neck and upper back
- Popping or clicking in your jaw
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Ringing in your ears or earaches
Although some patients grind their teeth during the day, most grind their teeth while they sleep. Therefore, many patients go for years without treatment. Prolonged teeth grinding can wear on the jaw joint and muscles creating discomfort in the face, neck and shoulders. Patients find little relief from over the counter pain medication and symptoms are commonly misdiagnosed.
Many patients who grind their teeth will benefit from a custom fabricated oral appliance which is highly useful for preventing teeth grinding and can be a less invasive alternative to oral surgery. The device is similar to a sports mouthguard and is custom fabricated to fit comfortably in the mouth. Contrary to common belief, over the counter “bite and fit” mouthguard options cannot perform the same benefits as custom oral appliances and in some cases, can even do more damage than wearing nothing.
Oral appliance devices have highly specialized designs and Dr. Robinson will prescribe one to address your specific condition. The appliance’s general goal is to prevent the jaws from grinding or clenching together while you sleep. This allows the surrounding muscles and ligaments to rest and begin to heal, easing the painful symptoms associated with prolonged bruxism.
Teeth Grinding in Children
Children suffering from sleep-disordered breathing may grind their teeth at night, leading to worn tooth enamel, tooth chips and other dental concerns that are the result of pressure placed on the tooth surface and increased muscle tension in the jaw area. These symptoms however, are not the most pressing concern for children who grind their teeth. Teeth grinding is often an indication that your child is is not receiving enough oxygen while she sleeps.
Dr. Robinson looks for signs of teeth grinding and other dysfunctional oral habits such as mouth breathing during children’s routine visits and works with parents to resolve both oral and any possible overall health concerns such as sleep-disordered breathing.
We offer Healthy Start™ appliances to address the root cause of sleep-disordered breathing and associated symptoms. By promoting correct jaw growth and tooth positioning, we are able to open your child’s airway and ensure long term health.
REQUEST A CONSULTATION
Our office provides comprehensive and personalized treatment for bruxism. We serve patients of all ages in New Philadelphia, Canton, Coshocton, and Newcomerstown, OH with state of the art dentistry that is designed to maintain, enhance and repair your smile so that you can enjoy optimal oral health. Call our New Philadelphia, OH dentist office at (330) 269-5805 to make an appointment.