Candace L. Peterson, DMD | 18795 SW Boones Ferry Rd. | Tualatin, OR 97062 | Ph: (503) 691-9046 |

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Protect Your Teeth From Nighttime Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or Bruxism, occurs in most humans at some point in their lives. The grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw are two main characteristics of this condition, and if not properly treated can lead to more serious dental problems – this problem generally occurs while sleeping so many patients are unaware of the problem.

Teeth grinding is one of the most common known sleep disorders, and causes damage during sleep hours. The clenching and grinding, which accompanies Bruxism, is symptomatic of a malfunctioning chewing reflex – which is turned off in non-sufferers when sleeping. For people that do grind their teeth during deep sleep or naps, the reflex nerve control center in the brain turns off which allows the reflex pathways to become active.

Teeth grinding can be frequently misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all because it is only one of several potential causes of tooth wear.

Reasons To Treat Your Teeth Grinding Problem

Here are some of the main reasons why teeth grinding should be promptly treated:

  • Gum recession and tooth loss – teeth grinding is one the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss. This repetitive action damages the soft tissues, and creates deep pockets where bacteria can colonize and destroy teeth and supporting bone structure.
  • Occlusal trauma – abnormal wear patterns on the occlusal (chewing) surface can lead to fractures in the teeth, which may require restorative treatment.
  • Arthritis – in severe and chronic cases, teeth grinding can eventually lead to painful arthritis  in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints.
  • Myofascial pain – grinding associated with bruxism can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth. This can lead to muscle pain in the myofascial region and debilitating headaches.

Treatment Options For Teeth Grinding & Jaw Clenching

There is no cure for bruxism, however there are ways to lessen the impact of grinding and clenching. Dr. Peterson can create a custom nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep. An acrylic mouthguard will be created from your tooth impressions to minimize the abrasive action on tooth surfaces during sleep. Nightguards should be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent more damage to the TMJ and help to stabilize the occlusion.

Other methods of treatment include:

•    Relaxation exercises
•    Stress management
•    Biofeedback mechanisms

When teeth grinding is under control, there are a variety of dental procedures such as crowns, gum grafts and crown lengthening that can restore a pleasant aesthetic appearance to the smile.

Contact Our Tualatin Office Today To Learn More About Nightguards For Teeth Grinding

If you are suffering from teeth grinding and jaw clenching please contact us today. We will work with you to schedule an appointment for you to meet with our cosmetic and general dentist so that we can make you a nightguard as soon as possible.