Effective treatment for teeth grinding and clenching at Richmond, VA dentist
Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism, is a very common issue that affects millions of children and adults in the United States. While it may seem like a harmless issue, grinding and clenching can result in serious issues for not only your oral health, but also your overall health and wellbeing. At Richmond Family Dentistry in Richmond, VA, Dr. Olivia Hart conducts a comprehensive assessment of each patient to determine the cause of their bruxism and the most effective treatment options.
Symptoms of teeth grinding and clenching
In some cases, you may notice that you grind and clench your teeth during the day, but in most people, clenching teeth at night while sleeping is the only time it occurs, so it may be difficult to tell if you are suffering from bruxism. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in your jaw or face
- Frequent headaches or earaches
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD)
- Cracked, chipped, or worn-down teeth
- Trouble sleeping or feeling unrested in the morning
Treatment options to protect your teeth and your health
While many dentists may simply just give you a mouth guard to protect your teeth, Dr. Hart takes a holistic approach to determine the cause of your bruxism. While many people think that bruxism is simply due to stress, there are other factors that can contribute to it - including sleep apnea, a serious condition that can have grave health consequences such as strokes, heart attacks, and death. In a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Hart will examine your teeth and mouth, as well as discuss your medical history and lifestyle with you. Based on your individual needs, one or more of the following bruxism treatments may be beneficial to prevent teeth grinding and restore your health:
- Sleep apnea treatment: If sleep apnea is causing your bruxism, then treating the sleep apnea is of utmost importance for your health and can alleviate your grinding and clenching symptoms. Children who are suffering from sleep apnea often have airway issues that can be effectively addressed, and NightLase® laser therapy and other sleep apnea treatment options are available at Richmond Family Dentistry for adults and children.
- Treatment for misalignment of teeth and jaw: Grinding and clenching can occur due to misaligned teeth or a bad bite. Dr. Hart provides several options for realigning the teeth, arches, and jaws of both children and adults, such as clear braces, Myobrace, and the ALF appliance.
- Night guard for teeth clenching: When the underlying reason for bruxism is not related to a physical misalignment or airway issue, then a mouth guard can be a great option to protect your teeth and jaw from damage. Dr. Hart also discusses lifestyle adjustments to help improve the condition with patients, such as healthy diet, sleeping habits, daily routine, among others, and reduce stress.
Call us about your teeth grinding treatment options today
If you suspect that you grind and clench your teeth or are suffering from sleep apnea, we encourage you to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Olivia Hart to help maintain the health of your teeth and body. Call our Richmond, VA office today at (804) 381-6238 or email us at email@example.com.