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How Do You Stop Grinding Teeth?

June 4, 2024
How Do You Stop Grinding Teeth

Do you grind your teeth? If so, you most likely grind your teeth while you’re sleeping and are unaware of it until someone tells you. Perhaps your partner or spouse has heard you grinding your teeth at night. Your dentist may have noticed the effects of grinding when examining your teeth and brought it to your attention. 

If you’re not aware that you’re grinding your teeth, how can you stop? Unfortunately the habit is not something you can correct just by setting your mind to it. You’ll need to see professional treatment in order to prevent oral health problems

Oral Health Problems From Teeth Grinding 

Chronic teeth grinding can cause a variety of oral health problems, including:

  • Premature wear of the teeth. Grinding your teeth together at night can cause the teeth to wear down prematurely, causing early loss of enamel and putting the teeth at a higher risk of decay. Your teeth may start to appear small or short over time. 
  • Cracked teeth. Weakening of the enamel from teeth grinding often results in the development of cracks in your teeth. Teeth may even fracture under the stress. 
  • TMJ disorder. The clenching of your jaw that accompanies teeth grinding puts excess strain on your TMJ, the joints on the sides of your face where your lower jaw connects to your skull. TMJ disorder is characterized by jaw pain and limited range of motion in your jaw. 

Treatment For Teeth Grinding 

Teeth grinding is primarily treated with a custom oral appliance, otherwise known as a night guard. It is typically made of plastic and fits over the top row of teeth, preventing damage to the teeth from constantly grinding them together. A night guard will also absorb the force from clenching your jaw, helping to prevent TMJ disorder. 

Repairing the Damage From Teeth Grinding 

If your teeth have visible damage from the effects of teeth grinding, there are ways to restore the health and natural appearance of your teeth. 

  • Cosmetic bonding. Worn down teeth can often be reshaped using tooth-colored composite material. 
  • Veneers. When the damage to the teeth is more extensive, veneers can be attached to the front row of teeth to make your smile look like new. 
  • Dental crowns. Teeth that have sustained significant damage, such as cracks or fractures, can be treated with dental crowns. A dental crown fits over the top of an existing tooth, providing protection and a natural appearance. 

Other Health Conditions Tied to Teeth Grinding

It is important to be aware that teeth grinding is often a symptom of sleep apnea, a disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing while you sleep. Sleep apnea can prevent you from getting quality sleep at night, resulting in a general lack of energy and other serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Grinding

Are store bought night guards effective? 

There are night guards available in stores that allow you to custom mold them to your teeth. These may prevent damage to your teeth and jaw from teeth grinding, but they are not as comfortable or as effective as a custom oral appliance made by your dentist. 

Are custom night guards covered by insurance? 

Custom night guards may be covered by your dental insurance. However, it may only cover a portion of the cost. Contact your insurance provider or refer to your benefits guide for specific information about your plan. 

Stop The Effects of Teeth Grinding Starting Today

If you’ve been told that you grind your teeth, or you’ve seen the signs of it yourself, schedule a consultation with Hewlett Dental Excellence. We can assess the condition of your teeth and identify signs of teeth grinding to determine if treatment is necessary. A custom oral appliance can be made to fit your teeth comfortably and provide relief from the symptoms of chronic teeth grinding and prevent permanent damage to your teeth. 

Call 516-569-5566 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

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Hewlett Dental Excellence
1229 Broadway #204
Hewlett, NY 11557
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