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All Posts Tagged: Teeth Grinding

teeth grinding | dentist port washington ny

What Causes Bruxism and Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism, defined as habitual teeth grinding and clenching, is estimated to affect 30-40 million Americans. It impacts some individuals exclusively at night, known as nocturnal bruxism, while others struggle at various times of the day. It is listed in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) and represents the third most common sleep dysfunction.

How Is Bruxism Identified?

The symptoms of bruxism vary based upon the individual, causes and severity of the involvement. Many individuals who infrequently grind or clench their teeth have no symptoms. Others will only discover their bruxism from their dentist during routine dental care. Sometimes it is a sleep partner that hears you grind at night.

In more severe cases, headaches, a sore jaw and tooth pain upon waking may indicate nighttime grinding. Having these symptoms should prompt a consult with your dental professional. Chronic or extreme grinding may cause teeth to fracture, fillings to loosen and even a loss of teeth. Ensuring proper evaluation by your dentist will ensure proper management to prevent this damage. Unchecked, bruxism may cause Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, tooth loss and change your facial appearance.

Causes of Bruxism:

The etiology of grinding can be simple or complex, depending on the individual. In many, it is a cluster of reasons that trigger a person to grind or clench teeth. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Subconscious habit
  • Malocclusion or improper bite alignment
  • Side Effects of Medications such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil
  • Alcohol Use
  • Amphetamine Use
  • Parkinson’s or other Neurological Disease

Establishing a early diagnosis is advantageous, as unchecked continued grinding and clenching has been shown to impact quality of life and can lead to potential tooth, jaw and facial damage. Identifying the reasons for your teeth grinding is only the first step your dentist will take in evaluating this disorder. Confirming the cause of grinding helps to outline the best treatment option.

What Will the Dentist Find in Cases of Chronic Grinding?

Bruxism is a problem dentists see routinely due to its frequency rate. During a dental examination, abnormal tooth wear or tightness in the masseter jaw muscles are early signs. With prolonged tightness of these muscles, a bump may occur on the inner aspect of the mandible or maxillary bones, known as Torus Maxillaris and/or Torus Mandibularis. Gum recession or limited ability to open the mouth may be present. Late symptoms include direct tooth damage such as breakage or mobility of the teeth.

How is Bruxism Treated?

Treatment tends to coordinate with the cause of the grinding. One of the first steps is typically the use of a mouth appliance to protect the teeth. At times, these appliances are utilized exclusively at night; however, daytime grinding and clenching can trigger the need for use during the day.

  • Stress or Anxiety: Work with your healthcare specialist to identify the cause of stress or anxiety. Professional counseling or biofeedback are techniques utilized to resolve the triggers.
  • Malocclusion: Correction of tooth alignment and bite may require reshaping of the teeth, improvements to alignment and even physical therapy. More severe cases may require orthodontia to correct optimally.
  • Medicines: Medicines have been shown to be a trigger. Eliminating or changing these medications will provide a resolution. Medicines are also treatment tools. Anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants and even Botox may be utilized when necessary to treat bruxism.
  • Habits: Habitual clenching or grinding tends to respond best to retraining methods such as biofeedback and physical therapy. Tools are utilized to provide alternate focus, distracting from the damaging behaviors. Modifications to alcohol and caffeine use, recreational drug rehabilitation, and cessation of gum chewing will target the exact etiology.
  • Sleep Disorder: Sleep apnea is a common concurrent problem. Correction, often via the use of a CPAP machine, has been demonstrated to be a viable treatment option.

If you suspect you grind or clench your teeth, contact 3V Dental Associates today to schedule you consultation with our amazing team. Treatment options are optimal when utilized early.

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teeth grinding | dentist port washington ny

Reasons and Treatments for Grinding Your Teeth


Biting your nails, tapping a table with your fingers and fidgeting are all habits that many people share. They’re simply movements that occur when you’re thinking, actively bored or nervous about a situation. Grinding your teeth may be a habit also. If you notice teeth grinding as a regular occurrence in your life, it’s time to pay careful attention to it. The grinding action can damage your teeth. At 3V Dental Associates, a Port Washington NY dentist, patients often ask why they might grind their teeth and how they can prevent teeth grinding in the future. Let’s explore a bit more below…

Stress and Anxiety May Cause You to Grind Your Teeth

A common cause for teeth grinding is stress or anxiety. In today’s fast-paced world, there’s more stress than ever before. You might unconsciously clench your jaw and grind your teeth.

When this reaction is irregular, there’s no real need to worry. Serious treatment isn’t necessary because it’s more of a harmless habit. People who’re diagnosed with anxiety, however, may experience a different scenario.

People who’re constantly stressed out might find themselves with clenched jaws every day. The teeth cannot deal with that much force on the enamel. A prevention plan must be put into action. Ask your dentist how you can prevent teeth grinding. A common, non-invasive solution might be using a mouth guard, but it’s always best to check with your dentist first to ensure the teeth grinding is not related to something more severe.

Bruxism Diagnosis

If you’re noticing symptoms that point to teeth grinding, you may have an ailment called Bruxism. This term simply defines the activity of grinding your teeth as a real disease. You may not even notice that you’re clenching your jaw in the first place. For this reason, people who find themselves in this predicament should seek out treatment.

The average person with Bruxism will clench the jaw throughout the day. It’s an entirely involuntary action. Researchers are still trying to narrow down how or why this ailment occurs. At this point, the ailment is being considered as both a genetic and psychological phenomena.

Nighttime Teeth Grinding

It’s not unheard of for Bruxism-related symptoms to spill over into the evening hours. People who clench their jaw during the night have a different form of this disease. The symptoms of grinding the jaw are the same, but they occur as you sleep.

Most professionals see this ailment as a sleep-related disorder. It’s researched alongside sleep apnea and other issues. Nighttime grinding can go unnoticed until the teeth have significant damage. With enamel breaking down, the teeth can slowly wear down with chips and cracks in severe cases.

Concerning Side Effects from Teeth Grinding

Prevention is the key to a healthy smile once again. The side effects to continual grinding are significant. The jaw becomes tender and delicate as you try to chew food. Your teeth chip, crack and possibly fall out.

Your jawbone and facial structure also suffer. The bones may have damage that requires surgery or other procedure. Teeth grinding isn’t an ailment that can be ignored, especially if it’s a regular habit. The side effects are subtle and slow going, but they will cause permanent damage without professional help or advice from your dentist.

Your Local Dentist Can Help!

When your teeth grinding continues to be a problem, don’t hesitate to seek out a professional’s opinion. Contact 3V Dental today to talk to one of our dentists and get the treatment that’s right for you. Our professional team can spot dental problems from a mile away, so don’t hesitate to schedule your appointment if your teeth grinding is becoming a concern.

Be proactive about your attention to teeth grinding. If you notice a loved one with a similar issue, make them aware of the activity. Teeth can withstand a lot of pressure, but they aren’t immune to damage. Taking care of the cause of this ailment will solve many problems associated with it. A bright smile can be yours once again.

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