Have you ever found yourself clenching or grinding your teeth in a stressful situation? Occasional grinding and clenching of teeth is fairly common and isn’t considered problematic, but what if you do it constantly? Constant grinding of teeth, known as bruxism, can lead to a number of dental issues, and can often occur at night when you aren’t even aware you’re doing it. But not to worry – San Francisco dentist Dr. Antigone Skoulas can help diagnose this problem early and prevent further damage to your teeth.
Complications and Warning Signs
In most cases, bruxism won’t cause serious complications but, in severe cases, it can lead to a host of problems including damage, dysfunction, and pain in the jaw joints, frequent muscle tension headaches, tooth fractures and loss, and even altered facial appearance. Some warning signs of bruxism are:
- Worn tooth enamel
- Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
- Tight or fatigued jaw muscles
- Jaw or face pain or soreness
- Dull headache centered at the temples
- Earache-like pain without problems in the ears
- Indentations in your tongue
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheeks
- Others complaining of grinding sounds while you sleep
Though the causes of bruxism aren’t completely known, people with increased stress or anxiety, aggressive personality types, and those using tobacco, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or using illegal drugs like amphetamines may have increased risk of developing bruxism.
Treatment for Bruxism (Excessive Teeth Grinding)
Treatment isn’t always needed, particularly in children, as they typically outgrow bruxism related to youth. If the bruxism is severe, though, mouth guards to prevent further damage, or dental reshaping via crowns, braces/Invisalign or oral surgery may be necessary.
If you think you might have bruxism, don’t delay – schedule an appointment with Dr. Skoulas. She offers flexible appointment times to fit your schedule and can thoroughly assess the situation to see if bruxism is present.
Do you think you might be excessively grinding your teeth? San Francisco dentist Dr. Antigone Skoulas can check for bruxism with appointments that fit your schedule. Contact us today.