Do you sometimes wake up with a tension headache or soreness in your jaw or face? Do you have tooth sensitivity and worn enamel on your teeth? Has your sleep partner complained about the grinding noises you make at night? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, you may have sleep bruxism, a condition in which you subconsciously grind or clench your teeth at night.
Some people grind their teeth on occasion, especially during more stressful periods, and this mild form of bruxism needn’t cause alarm. But chronic bruxism can lead to jaw pain, headaches, damaged teeth, and TMD (temporomandibular disorders).
If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night, come in to Town Center Dentistry and we can help you address it before it causes any further damage. Even if it turns out that you have only occasional grinding or mild bruxism, we can help you monitor the situation and eliminate possible causes.
Possible causes of bruxism
Although doctors cannot point to a clear cause of bruxism in everyone, some potential causes may include:
Certain personality types:
- Sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea)
- Earache or teething pain (in children)
- Acid reflux
- Complications from Huntington’s or Parkinson’s Disease
- Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion)
Effects of Drugs or Medications:
- Tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, or methamphetamine use
- Psychiatric medications
Preserving your teeth is key, and we can help.
Regardless of the cause of your bruxism, it’s important to protect your teeth from the effects of the grinding. At Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, we can help. Our highly qualified staff of dental professionals can approach your bruxism from many angles.
Our general practitioners, Dr. Robert Camhi or Dr. Dana Alkasmi, can assess the level of damage caused by grinding your teeth and plan your correction treatment accordingly. In severe cases, this may include reshaping the chewing surfaces of your teeth or using crowns to help them once again function properly.
If your bruxism is caused by misaligned teeth, no need for referrals out of our office. Our orthodontic specialist, Dr. Gary Sanner has nearly 30 years experience in the field and can help set you straight (pun intended) with braces or oral surgery, if necessary.
Among his many talents, Dr. Thomas Gonzales specializes in sleep apnea treatment. Working together with your doctor, he can help evaluate and fit you with a custom made oral appliance that addresses the cause of your sleep disorder – and your bruxism.
It may be necessary to experiment a bit with stress management techniques, behavior therapies, or other methods of addressing your nighttime teeth grinding habits. In the meantime, our practitioners at Town Center Dentistry can help get you fitted for a custom made splint or mouth guard. Depending on your needs and preferences, this device will be made from either hard acrylic or soft materials to fit over your upper or lower teeth. This protective wear is designed to be worn at night to keep your teeth separated and avoid the damage caused by grinding.
You don’t have to figure it out by yourself
At Town Center Dentistry, we take our relationships with our patients seriously. That’s why we have so many highly qualified specialists and practitioners right on hand in our Rancho Bernardo office – so we can meet your needs all in one place.
If you think you may have bruxism, whether mild or chronic, schedule a consultation, and we’ll do everything we can to help you determine the causes, address the symptoms, and correct any resulting damage.