Diagnosing Teeth Grinding

by Samantha on January 7, 2011

Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, is a condition that affects many people all over the world. The complications from it can be anything from the way your teeth look and feel to headaches and facial pain. If you notice that you’re grinding your teeth at night during your sleep, you most likely suffer from sleep bruxism.

This can seriously affect your teeth along with causing other health issues, so it’s important that you see your dentist for diagnosis.

The first step is a dental appointment for an initial checkup. Your dentist will look for the physical signs of bruxism. This will entail an unusual amount of wear and tear on your teeth. If this is found, there’s a better than average chance that teeth grinding is the cause of it. You’ll also be asked if you’re experiencing any sensitivity in your teeth.

If any of these signs are found, your dentist will want to see you on a more regular basis to check on how progressive the condition is. In the event that you show more signs and damage to your teeth, your dentist will want to assess the severity of these signs. More examinations may be required or your dentist may prescribe a treatment.

The dentist will try to locate the main cause of your bruxism before settling on the proper treatment for you. There will be questions to answer regarding your health, dental health history, stress level, and even habits regarding coffee and alcohol consumption.

Sleep habits will also be discussed to see if the teeth grinding occurs at night. This may require that your dentist meet with your partner or roommate, if you have one, to find out if you make grinding noises at night.

How severe your bruxism is will be assessed by a full mouth examination. Jaw muscles are examined to determine any tenderness. Other things such as bad teeth alignment, missing and broken teeth show severe bruxism. Your cheeks can also be damaged from bruxism due to getting in the way of your teeth clenching together. X-rays may be taken of your mouth to also help with assessing the condition.

As bruxism may also affect your ears, there may be some tests run to check for that. Other disorders, like TMJ, can also be discovered. If your ears are affected, your dentist will probably refer to you an ear, nose and throat doctor.

Sometimes, psychological disorders can be the cause of bruxism. These include stress or lack of sleep. For these causes, your dentist will most likely refer you to a therapist of some sort. They can help you by getting to the root of your problem and helping you sleep better.

The minute you notice that you may have bruxism; you should set up an appointment with your dentist. Many people think that teeth grinding is not a big deal and look on it as a harmless habit. This assumption can be a costly mistake in the end as it starts to erode your teeth and other wise damage them.

The bottom line is that you need to seek medical attention once you realize that you’re grinding your teeth a lot, especially at night, so that you can prevent even more damage to your teeth and overall health.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

wordpress stats