Teeth Grinding Treatments in Corvallis, OR

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Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw? You could be grinding your teeth without even knowing it. People often grind their teeth, while they’re sleeping, making it a difficult condition to control. Teeth grinding, also termed ‘bruxism’, puts a lot of pressure on your teeth and can lead to a number of oral health complications.

Bruxism is defined as the process of clenching your top and bottom teeth or grinding them by sliding teeth back and forth. Continual teeth grinding can lead to gum recession, chipped and cracked teeth, headaches, and even tooth loss and changes in facial structure. At Kent Burnett, DDS in Corvallis, OR, we can help you get your teeth grinding under control and rehabilitate your dental health.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding has a variety of negative symptoms. The most common symptom is frequent headaches. According to the Bruxism Association, patients that grind their teeth are three times more likely to have headaches.

Patients with bruxism are also more likely to suffer from TMJ disorder, muscle aches, jaw soreness, neck and shoulder stiffness, ear pain, and sleep disorders, like sleep apnea.

In the majority of cases, chronic teeth grinding can be diagnosed by looking at the tooth surface. Patients with bruxism are more likely to have abnormal wear on their teeth, fractured teeth, gum recession and inflammation. In severe cases, we see premature tooth loss.

If you are also experiencing the following symptoms, you could have bruxism:

  • Anxiety and tension

  • Depression, most due to chronic discomfort from headaches and muscle tension

  • Insomnia from disrupted sleep

  • Sensitive teeth from enamel damage from teeth grinding

  • Earaches as referred pain from stress on the temporomandibular joint

  • Clicking jaw

  • Teeth that are worn flat

  • Your jaw locks and doesn’t open and close properly

If you share a bed with a partner, they might complain about hearing loud grinding sounds at night. The best way to tell if you’re grinding your teeth is to come by our office for a dental exam. We can easily detect chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding by assessing the state of your oral health.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is an incredibly common disorder. However, doctors don’t fully know the exact causes of bruxism. However, teeth grinding is attributed to a variety of physical and psychological factors.

Typically, doctors attribute teeth grinding to emotions, like daily stress, anxiety, anger, frustration, and tension. Bruxism is also linked to competitive, aggressive, and hyper personalities. It’s believed that teeth grinding is sometimes used as a coping strategy when people are trying to focus on activities, like reading, writing, weightlifting, and more.

From a physical standpoint, bruxism is linked to abnormal bites and jaw misalignment and posture. Certain lifestyle factors, like smoking, drinking alcohol, and drinking caffeine can be contributing factors to bruxism. Medications, like those taken to treat ADD and ADHD, are also known to cause bruxism.

Relieving Pain from Teeth Grinding

If you think you might have bruxism, or your dentist has diagnosed you with bruxism, seeking immediate treatment can help you preserve your smile and oral health. However, there are some steps you can take to help alleviate pain from teeth grinding:

  • Make it a habit to relax your facial muscles during the day

  • Eliminate your daily stress by practicing relaxation techniques

  • Avoid hard foods, like nuts, candies, or sinewy meat

  • Modify your diet to exclude caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and cigarettes

  • Self-massage or try to get professional massages for you neck, shoulders, and face

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Drink enough water every day

  • Avoid chewing gum

  • Use ice or heat as an anti-inflammatory for jaw muscles

While these tips can help ease the pain from bruxism, you will need to take further precautions to avoid damage from teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

Teeth Grinding Treatments

After diagnosing your teeth grinding, we will recommend some treatments to fix your bruxism and preserve your smile.

Dental Treatments for Bruxism:

  • Mouth guards or splints. If you’re a nocturnal teeth grinder, wearing a mouthguard or mouth splint can minimize damage while you sleep. Mouthguards and splints help balance out your bite pressure, while creating a barrier between the top and bottom teeth for added protection. Mouth guards also minimize grinding sounds while you sleep. At Kent Burnett, DDS, we might recommend a custom-made mouth guard for a better fit over your bite and teeth alignment. Mouth splints are made out of harder plastics than mouthguards and fit over your top and bottom teeth. When it comes to choosing between a mouthguard and mouth splint, they are both equally as effective at reducing damage from bruxism. ​​​​​​​
  • Orthodontic correction. If your bruxism is due to a bite or jaw misalignment, we will recommend an orthodontic treatment to align your jaw and teeth. Aligning your teeth and jaw will even out bite pressure and minimize damage from teeth grinding. If your wisdom teeth are causing jaw misalignment, we might recommend oral surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed.

Schedule an Appointment at Kent Burnett, DDS

For the best treatment plan to stop clenching or grinding your teeth, schedule an exam with Dr. Kent Burnett. During your exam, Dr. Burnett will be able to gain insight into the underlying causes of your bruxism and formulate a treatment plan to rehabilitate and preserve your teeth. Call us today 541-588-1100.

Initial Visit & Forms

As a convenience to our patients, all the necessary forms are available to be downloaded, filled out either as a fillable PDF or printed and completed by hand. Either way you will save time at your initial visit by bringing the completed forms to your initial visit, along with a list of any medications you are currently taking.