Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a condition that can affect patients in NC and have a dramatic negative impact on their natural teeth, as well as result in many other side effects of the body. This condition causes patients to tighten and grind their teeth—typically overnight—which can cause unwanted wear and tear on tooth enamel as well as headaches, poor sleep, and pain around the neck and jaw area.
Many patients who learn about this condition want to know the suspected causes and treatment options for teeth grinding. It is believed that bruxism often stems from stress and anxiety, though other patients who have misaligned bites may also experience this problem. Dentists such as Dr. Steven Hatcher are often the first to bring up the possibility of bruxism to patients when he sees the wear on the natural teeth—the telltale sign that teeth grinding is occurring when patients least expect it.
Once patients speak with Dr. Steven Hatcher and realize that they are struggling with the condition, it is time to discuss treatments for teeth grinding. Treatment often considered of oral appliance therapy. A specialized mouth guard is made to fit precisely over the dental arch and is worn at night to not only reduce pressure in the mouth but to protect the natural teeth and restorations from breaking. This often occurs to patients who deal with bruxism because the pressure of the jaw can cause bridges, veneers, crowns, and other porcelain restorations to crack, break, or fall off of the natural tooth structure. This is another indication that patients may be dealing with teeth grinding.
Oral appliance therapy will often protect the patients from experiencing damage to the smile. However, the source of the problem must be addressed. For patients with stress or anxiety-based bruxism, it is important for these individuals to find a way to access peace and calmness in their lives. These patients may want to try exercise, changes to their diet, or even counseling and therapy if stress and anxiety is beginning to consume their life. Patients with misaligned smiles might also want to discuss with Dr. Steven Hatcher the possibility of undergoing orthodontics to get teeth in more desirable positioning for better function.