Teeth Grinding, Clenching, and Bruxism Treatment

Do you have concerns related to your teeth grinding habits? Do you or someone in your family have dental concerns from jaw pain, muscle pain, worn or broken teeth, bone loss or tooth pain?

Dr. Corey Jensen and Dr. Brett Moore and their team at Smile Design Dentistry in Plymouth, Minnesota are experts in helping you manage your oral health problems. Grinding teeth while one is sleeping is a common happening. Whether you are facing unknown causes of the gnashing of teeth, grinding of teeth, clenching of teeth or what some call the gritting of teeth behaviors during sleep, you can do a lot to mitigate issues.

Grinding of Teeth Terminology and Solutions

Grinding, more commonly known as bruxing, is the gnashing or clenching of your teeth. This can unconsciously occur during the day or more commonly at night. The causes of grinding often are not clear. We believe that some people have a genetic predisposition for grinding and often see trends within families of bruxing habits. Other causes may include stress and poorly aligned teeth creating a pathologic bite relationship of the upper and lower teeth.

Dr. Jensen and Dr. Moore’s primary goal at Smile Design is first to recognize the problem and then educate you about your habit, what we found clinically and most importantly what may occur over time if the problem is not properly managed. If the grinding habit is mild, often we will educate our patients and then just monitor any signs or symptoms of the problem increasing at your regular recall visits. When we find the habit is causing damage we are then more likely to suggest either treatment to improve the bite or protection to help prevent further damage.

Grinding of Teeth by Toddlers and Children

Another consideration with bruxers is to determine if there may be an airway problem. Often when we see wear on teeth of young children we may suspect some form of airway obstruction. By identifying this problem early in children and getting them the proper evaluation and care we can often prevent other dental and health problems from occurring. With adults that are bruxing we need to consider the problem of sleep apnea. It is well documented that there often is a relationship between the two and depriving the brain of oxygen every night can very damaging.

Bruxing of teeth is not natural and should be avoided whenever possible. The problem is at night we do not have the ability or awareness to stop this habit. Teeth are only meant to be touching when we are eating. We all have weak links in our body and generally when someone has a heavy bruxing habit something has to give.

Problems that Teeth Grinding Creates

We often see the following conditions develop when bruxing is not being managed properly:

  • Tooth wear
  • Joint pain or TMJ dysfunction
  • Muscle pain or Myofacial pain dysfunction
  • Broken teeth
  • Headaches
  • Bone loss
  • Periodontal disease
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Lost teeth

Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body but when tested by the extremely strong chewing muscles we often see it wear away. Just below the enamel layer of teeth is the dentin. The problem with tooth wear is once we have worn through the hard enamel on a tooth and begin wearing into the soft dentin the speed of breakdown increases exponentially. Another problem that we humans have to deal with is the ageing process. As we age our teeth become more brittle and more likely to break. If the teeth have been compromised throughout life from grinding is it common for fractures to occur later in life. Fractured teeth can lead to extractions and expensive restorative dental work.

Teeth Grinding Causes

Often times when we look for the root of the problem we will determine that it is related to a malocclusion or a poorly functioning bite. This can frequently be corrected with orthodontics, tooth shape adjustments [equilibration] or restorative work to create a more ideal bite relationship. It is common that when the bite is aligned properly that the brain shuts down the bruxing habit. If we determine that the problem is more of a sleep-type bruxism we then might suggest some form of a nighttime appliance to be worn when sleeping to protect the teeth from further damage.

We offer several types of appliances at Smile Design Dentistry based on the extent of the problem. Often the most ideal appliance for long-term protection is a splint, which is fabricated out of acrylic by a trained laboratory technician. Our process at Smile Design is to do a digital scan of all the teeth and then have the lab digitally fabricate a splint that creates the ideal bite and provides a layer of protection between the upper and lower teeth.

Teeth Grinding Treatment

Bruxing can be a complex problem and in its early stages can be easy to miss. Early detection and either treatment or protection can prevent a wide range of more complex problems in the future. At Smile Design, we have been providing comprehensive orthodontic care for over 25 years to help correct these bite problems. We have the training and years of experience to reconstruct bites to create a beautiful lasting smile for a lifetime. For our patients with severe nighttime bruxing habits, we have fabricated thousands of nighttime protection appliances for our patients.

We are always happy to offer a free evaluation and consultation regarding your bruxing concerns and options for a healthy and pain-free future. The healthiest and least expensive way to manage a bruxing problem is to treat it conservatively and as early as possible.

Pleased Client: Teeth Grinding Issue Resolved

“Dr. Corey Jensen has been a good friend for 20 years. I have new found respect for him and his great staff after they gave me a new five-star smile! Great service, friendly, efficient staff. Dr. Jensen did a great job; very pleased with the results!” – Dave Walczak

At Smile Design Dentistry, we go the extra mile to make sure that all your questions about our anti-grinding teeth solutions are answered. Whether it means using a custom Moldable Dental Night Guard, addressing TMJ issues, or helping you choose between different orthodontic treatments, together, we can better manage your teeth clenching concerns and help you gain the smile you want! The longevity of your teeth could depend on it how quickly you take action steps to resolve teeth grinding issues.

If you wish to successfully overcome problems that stem from either grinding or clenching your teeth, our team can help you select the best method. When it comes to having strong teeth and great oral health , despite your bruxism, call 763-537-1238 today.

Dr. Corey Jensen is a lead Physician at Smile Design Dentistry in Plymouth, MinnesotaDr. Corey Jensen is a lead dentist at Smile Design Dentistry in Plymouth, Minnesota. Dr. Jensen has accumulated over 2400 additional hours of advanced education in his continued pursuit of excellence. He has received the highest distinction of “Master” in the Academy of General Dentistry and has been repeatedly recognized by his peers as a “Hall of Fame -Top Dentist” in the Mpls/St.Paul magazine.

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