Bruxism is a common disorder in which a person grinds his or her teeth, and in adults it often emerges as a side-effect of stress. Without treatment, teeth grinding can lead to significant oral health problems and contribute to the painful condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD).
If you notice yourself or a loved one teeth grinding, call the office of Austin dentist Dr. Dan Matthews at 512-452-2273 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Matthews has extensive success helping patients treat bruxism and TMJD with the use of comfortable, custom-made dental appliances that are worn during sleep.
Bruxism in Adults
Bruxism is actually more common in children than in adults; about 15 percent of children are thought to suffer from teeth grinding, according to the American Sleep Association, compared with about 10 percent of adults.
The development of bruxism in children is not entirely understood (it may have something to do with the emergence and replacement of the primary teeth), but most children who grind their teeth grow out of the habit before long-term damage is done. In adults, teeth grinding seems most often related to stress, according to a recent Herald-Tribune article that cites information from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The Dangers of Teeth Grinding
Many people with bruxism don’t notice their teeth grinding—it frequently occurs during sleep—and may not associate it with related symptoms like headaches, jaw pain and premature teeth wear.
Without treatment, teeth grinding can degrade teeth enamel, crack teeth, break fillings, and damage the gums. Bruxism can progressively contribute to tooth decay, periodontal disease and TMJD.
Treating Bruxism and TMJD
One of the most effective treatments for teeth grinding and TMJD is dental night guard, or bite splint.
These appliances are custom made to fit your unique bite, and they are worn during sleep to help you maintain an ideal bite position, and to prevent the clenching and gnashing of your teeth. There are different oral appliances available, and Dr. Matthews will recommend a treatment option based on a thorough assessment of your individual needs.
If you suffer from teeth grinding, or chronic headaches and jaw pain that have otherwise defied diagnosis, please contact Dan Matthews, DDS, online or call our office at 512-452-2273. Dr. Matthews welcomes patients from and visitors to the greater Austin, Texas, area.