bruxism A study conducted by the Chicago Dental Society shows that over 82 million Americans grind or clench their teeth. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding may seem like a minor issue, but bruxism can damage your smile.  Allen dentist, Dr. Marco Cueva, understands the risks associated with untreated bruxism and answers questions about the causes and symptoms of teeth grinding.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Grinding

Question: What causes bruxism? 

Answer: The most common cause is stress. People who experience an increased amount of anxiety often grind or clench their teeth. Other causes include missing teeth and bite misalignment, which unevenly distributes pressure and elevates the risk of bruxism. 

Question: How do I know if I grind my teeth? 

Answer: In many cases, people only grind their teeth during sleep. Unless a partner hears them, they may be unaware they suffer from bruxism. Common symptoms to watch for include: jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, toothaches, headaches, and pain when biting down or chewing. If you experience one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, contact your Allen dentist right away. 

Question: What happens if I don’t undergo treatment for bruxism? 

 

 

Answer: Without treatment, bruxism can cause chips and fractures to appear in your teeth. In some cases, severe teeth grinding actually wears down teeth, exposing the sensitive tooth structure to bacteria and leading to decay or infection. The strain bruxism places on the jaw joints may also lead to TMJ disorder, which can make opening and closing your mouth difficult. 

 

 Question: What solutions does my Allen dentist offer to stop teeth grinding? 

 

Answer: Cutting back on stress, applying a warm compress, and avoiding the consumption of caffeine and alcohol can reduce bruxism symptoms.

 

Dr. Cueva can also prescribe a mouth guard, which prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching, decreasing the symptoms of bruxism. About Dr. Marco Cueva: Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training in periodontology and implantology. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Periodontic Excellence by calling 972-390-9944.