Teeth Grinding Treatment: Reducing Pain and Preventing Damage

The team at University Dental Arts has provided patients in the greater Denver area with the latest in advanced restorative dentistry, with a focus on improving dental health and total wellness. This approach is especially important when addressing teeth grinding (bruxism), a problem that many people experience. Let’s take a moment right now to consider the causes of tooth grinding and how it can be properly treated.

What causes tooth grinding (bruxism)?

When it comes to tooth grinding, there are two common causes:

  • Stress and Anxiety – Excessive stress is a common trigger for teeth grinding. When worry runs high, it’s more likely for teeth grinding to occur.
  • Poor Dental Alignment – Teeth tend to grind when the upper and lower dental arches cannot find a comfortable at-rest position.

It’s not uncommon for these two causes of tooth grinding to be simultaneously present. In fact, if you have poor dental alignment, stress can make and already existing case of tooth grinding far worse.

In order to address tooth grinding effectively, it’s important to address the root cause of the problem and take multiple approaches to minimize damage and remedy the condition.

Bite Guards – Protecting Teeth from Damage During Sleep

The use of a bite guard is very common when treating tooth grinding. A bite guard is a protective mouthpiece that is worn in order to prevent direct contact between the teeth of the upper dental arch and the teeth of the lower dental arch. By preventing contact, the stress on the teeth and jaw joint is reduced. This means less pain of the teeth and gums, and a much lower chance of tooth damage occurring.

Stress Management and Relief for Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

While wearing a bite guard, patients may be advised to look into stress management options. This can be anything from meditation and breathing exercises, the use of anti-anxiety medications, or even involve getting more exercise to help with stress. All of these options can be discussed in greater detail during your visit.

Orthodontic Care Can Relieve Grinding

If crooked teeth and poor dental alignment are the cause of the tooth grinding, orthodontic care is a great option to consider. By improving the alignment of the teeth, patients will be less likely to suffer from tooth grinding and will also prevent potential dental health issues down the road.

TMJ Disorders and Tooth Grinding: Why There Is a Link

A TMJ disorder refers to issues with the proper function of the jaw joint (aka the temporomandibular joint). Teeth grinding is one of the causes of TMJ disorders given the stress that is placed on the jaw joint from the gnashing and clenching of the teeth. This is another risk that’s run if a case of tooth grinding isn’t treated as soon as possible.

What to Do to Address Bruxism and TMJ Disorders

Treating TMJ disorders generally involves similar steps as treating tooth grinding since these are minimally invasive yet highly effective treatments to consider. If the TMJ disorder is severe or more advanced, other treatment options can be discussed in greater detail with your dentist.

Schedule a Consultation at University Dental Arts

To learn more about treating tooth grinding and how to enhance your overall dental health, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. At University Dental Arts, we will help you get the dental treatment that you need to smile with confidence.

Are You a Suitable Candidate for a Custom Mouth Guard?

If you are asking yourself whether you could benefit from a custom mouth guard, then the answer is almost certainly yes, you probably could. In fact, there are millions of people who could benefit from wearing custom mouth guards who either wear cheap store-bought alternatives or who don’t wear a mouth guard at all. What many of these people do not realize is that their local restorative dentistry practice could custom-craft a mouth guard from the finest materials that would probably end up saving them money – and possibly a lot of pain – in the long run.

At University Dental Arts, we proudly create mouth guards of the highest quality for a variety of purposes. At our cosmetic and contemporary dentistry practice in Denver, mouth guard candidates range from student athletes to chronic tooth grinders. Whatever your needs, you can count on Dr. David Redford and his team to provide you with a durable, comfortable-fitting mouth guard that protects your teeth, gums, and other delicate oral tissues.

Aren’t all mouth guards the same?

Many patients ask us why they should invest in a custom mouth guard when the boil-to-fit option on the shelf of their local drug store is basically the same thing. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Those over-the-counter mouth guards are made from cheap materials that often wear so thin over time that they offer no real protection in the event of actual trauma. In fact, many of those boil-to-fit mouth guards end up harming the sensitive soft tissues of the mouth if they are worn for longer than a few weeks.

Conversely, custom mouth guards are:

  • Comfortable because they are customized to fit precisely into the patient’s mouth
  • Far less likely to damage the gums and other soft tissues
  • Made of strong materials that will protect the teeth in the event of a traumatic event
  • Will stand up to the rigors of everyday use, maintaining their shape in the long term

Are you a good candidate for a custom mouth guard?

Again, if you are wondering whether you could benefit from a custom mouth guard, you are probably a good candidate for one. Typical candidates include:

  • Athletes: Especially if you participate in contact sports such as football, boxing, hockey, or rugby, you should definitely purchase a custom mouth guard. Generic mouth guards are unlikely to last a full season, a fact that you will not want to learn the hard way in you final few games.
  • Patients who suffer from TMJ disorder: If you have problems with your TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, then a custom mouth guard may be prescribed as part of your therapy. The TMJs are the joints located directly in front of the ears; they connect the lower jaw to the skull. A mouth guard can relieve pressure on the joints, particularly if you tend to clench your jaw in your sleep.
  • Patients who grind their teeth: If you suffer from chronic bruxism, or teeth grinding, then you may be advised to wear a custom mouth guard while you sleep. Doing so can help you from wearing your teeth down and damaging your enamel.

Find Out Whether You Are a Good Candidate for a Custom Mouth Guard

To learn whether you are a suitable candidate for a custom mouth guard, please contact University Dental Arts today.