Teeth grinding is fairly common, and many of us find ourselves clenching and grinding our teeth from time to time. This type of occasional teeth grinding is often the result of stress and tension and usually isn’t a big problem.
For some people, however, constant clenching and grinding can lead to chronic head, neck, and shoulder pain. Even worse, the result of constant grinding is excessive wear and tear on your teeth. Many people who grind their teeth frequently do so while they sleep and don’t know that it’s happening.
We Offer Solutions for Teeth Grinding
Over the years, Dr. Hatchett has helped reduce and eliminate the painful symptoms of bruxism for many of our patients. A custom-made night guard or a simple device called an occlusal splint can often provide quick relief.
The purpose of both appliances is to keep the upper and lower jaw from coming into contact while you sleep. This makes it virtually impossible to grind and clench, eliminating chronic discomfort and allowing your jaw to relax and gradually return to its normal movement.
Reasons for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can be caused by the way your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) functions. The TMJ is the joint that allows your upper and lower jaw to come together.
In some cases, dental bite misalignment can be the cause of teeth grinding. If your bite’s out of alignment, you’ll bite down harder on one side than the other. This creates constant, unnatural force on the jaw joint, which then causes pain in the head and neck.
Why Teeth Grinding Is a Problem
The painful symptoms experienced with teeth grinding are bad enough, but the excess stress placed on your teeth can also lead to other dental problems, including:
- Chipped or fractured teeth
- Excessive, uneven wear on teeth
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)
- Loose teeth
Before we decide if a night guard or occlusal splint is right for you, Dr. Hatchett will take time to talk to you about the type of symptoms you’re experiencing. Then he’ll examine your teeth to try to pinpoint the reason for your grinding.
We provide personalized care and work with you to find the solution that protects your oral health and relieves the painful symptoms of teeth grinding. If we find that your symptoms can’t be relieved with a night guard, we will be happy to refer you to a qualified specialist for further evaluation.
There really is no reason for you to spend another day living with the symptoms of teeth grinding. If you suspect that your headaches or neck pain are related to teeth grinding, please give us a call so we can arrange a convenient consultation with Dr. Hatchett.