Teeth grinding, bruxism in technical terms, is a very destructive behavior. It can wear your teeth down and make your smile look unhealthy and aged. You may even be at risk of losing all your teeth. Unfortunately, teeth grinding may not be under your control. If you’ve tried to control teeth grinding, but can’t, you need help.
Scripps Ranch dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi can help you protect your teeth from the effects of teeth grinding, and restore your damaged teeth to a healthy, attractive appearance. Please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment at Oasis Dental Arts.
Causes of Bruxism
What causes bruxism? The truth is that there are many reasons why people grind their teeth. Some of the more commonly cited risk factors include:
- Stress, anxiety, and mental disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol consumption
- Heavy caffeine consumption
- Drug use
Stress, anxiety, and other psychological factors contribute the most to your risk of bruxism. Perhaps 70% of bruxism is associated with stress and other psychological factors. For people who know their bruxism is related to stress, stress reduction is a great place to start treating bruxism.
Sleep disorders can be associated with bruxism because your body may be clenching your jaw to try to open your airway to help you breathe better at night.
Many lifestyle factors can impact your risk of bruxism. Smoking is a common risk factor that can triple your risk of bruxism. Heavy alcohol use can double your risk of bruxism. Coffee consumption of 8 cups or more per day can also increase your risk of bruxism.
Many illegal drugs, including stimulants, can also increase your risk of bruxism.
Unfortunately, many prescription medications can increase your risk of tooth grinding. In particular, the class of antidepressants known as SSRIs (such as Paxil or Zoloft) can increase your risk of bruxism.
The first step to treating bruxism is identifying the cause. Once you’ve discovered the cause of your bruxism, you can try to treat it. If you can stop the bruxism, it will stop the damage to your teeth.
However, if you either cannot identify the cause, treatments aren’t working, or treatments need time to work, we can help. We can make you a mouthguard, similar to one you might wear for sports, that keeps your teeth from grinding. This will protect your teeth from damage, even if we can’t actually stop your bruxism.
Restorative Dentistry for Bruxism
If your teeth have been damaged by your teeth grinding, we can help.
If damage is primarily cosmetic to the front teeth, we can use porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can build up your teeth, restoring their original proportions and concealing chipped or cracked teeth.
For more serious damage, dental crowns are used. These can protect teeth that have been badly damaged and can even build your bite back up to a comfortable position.
Restorations are vulnerable to teeth grinding the same way that natural teeth are. Before we decide to restore your teeth, we will want to make sure your bruxism is treated or you have an adequate mouthguard.