1. What is teeth grinding, and how many people experience this issue in their lifetime?

    People that suffer from involuntary jaw movement while they sleep are causing their top and bottom teeth to grind or clench together. The condition referred to as bruxism can be considered a sleep disorder, and it does range in severity from one patient to another. It’s estimated that 8 percent of people experience teeth grinding, but it has also been reported that a higher percentage of 1 out of every 3 individuals will suffer from the condition in their lifetime.

    2. Why do some people grind their teeth in their sleep?

    Each case of bruxism has to be investigated to find the cause because every patient is different. There have been links made between those that use tobacco or stimulants and the occurrence of night teeth grinding in adults. Uncontrolled anxiety and stress are also thought to be causes of the condition.

    3. Does teeth grinding (bruxism) always start at a young age? What are some issues associated with this problem?

    Teeth grinding can begin at any age, meaning that plenty of individuals with this disorder are actually children. Kids with ADHD commonly experience bruxism, but it can actually happen to anyone. There may be signs that the teeth are shortening due to the excessive wear. Your child might begin to experience unusual headaches or jaw/tooth sensitivity from the frequent clenching or gnashing. Advanced complications can be noticed as reduced facial height that causes the child to actually appear more aged than normal. Milder cases may not require treatment because the child could grow out of the habit, but it is best to discuss the issue with their dentist.

    4. Is waking up with broken teeth a sign that a grinding habit has returned as an adult?

    Waking up in the morning with broken or chipped teeth is a major sign that your jaw is moving or clenching as you sleep. Other signs that you could be grinding teeth at night:
    – Daytime headaches
    – Jaw sensitivity or pain
    – Sore facial muscles
    – Earaches
    – Disturbed sleep

    5. Is the damaged caused by teeth grinding as an adult permanent?

    It is possible to experience infrequent teeth grinding or clenching during stressful times that results in little or no damage. Others that experience the issue often or in the REM dream state are going to notice that their damage is more severe. The constant friction is going to inevitably weaken the tooth surface and potentially cause the teeth to loosen. You could also cause small fractures as the protective enamel is worn away, causing nerve damage and pain.

    6. Could the dentist restore my smile after suffering severe damage?

    Our Cosmetic Dentist Newington, CT offers restorations to improve the appearance of damaged smiles. However, this type of treatment can only occur after the bruxism has been effectively resolved. Broken and chipped teeth can be repaired, or implants could be used to restore teeth that have been lost. Even if your teeth have been reduced down to the nerve endings, it is possible to restore the structure. Once a smile is healthy, the dentist will feel confident prescribing a treatment plan to improve the appearance of your teeth. 

    7. How are TMJ disorders linked to teeth grinding?

    The temporomandibular joint is the area that connects the jawbone to the skull, and disorders can be associated with uncontrolled teeth grinding. As the jaw is clenched or moving during the night, it can cause this area to become tender or painful. Sufferers might begin to notice symptoms like their jaw locking or clicking during the day as a result of grinding at night. TMJ disorders are not always associated with bruxism, but damage can contribute to the onset of such serious complications. 

    8. Is there a cure that will permanently put a stop to teeth grinding?

    Understanding the cause of bruxism is really the only way to manage the condition so that it cannot continue to damage teeth. Patients that are suffering from grinding or clenching may have one of many psychological or physiological causes to blame. Stress, anxiety, anger, or hyperactivity would have to be managed to correct the issues that occur as the patient is sleeping. The cause might actually be related to other sleep disorders, bad posture, or malocclusion. There are patients that have a combination of causes leading to their condition, so the dentist Berlin, CT emphasizes that learning the lifestyle of each patient is the key to discovering the right treatment. 

    9. Can I stop teeth grinding on my own by making lifestyle changes?

    If you have noticed the symptoms of bruxism, there are some immediate changes that you could put a stop to the problem. Relaxation is a great way to begin reducing stress and anxiety before bedtime, and it could actually improve the overall quality of your rest. Light exercise or simple yoga relieve tension, and you could also try to cut stimulants out of your diet. Drinking caffeine during the day, excessive alcohol intake, taking drugs, and using tobacco products could be causing your bruxism. If you are prescribed antidepressants or other medications, discuss teeth grinding with your doctor to determine if it could be a side effect. 

    10. How can my dentist help treat or stop the complications of teeth grinding?

    When you visit the best dentist in Berlin, CT in regards to your teeth grinding, the first priority is to protect the teeth. It could take time to discover the true cause of your bruxism, so a custom nightguard will be prescribed to offer immediate surface protection. When compared to the over-the-counter versions, this device will actually fit perfectly to help you stop clenching or grinding. A nightguard may also be used after restorations have been complete so ensure that your smile remains adequately protected.