What can I do about grinding my teeth at night?

Q: What can I do about grinding my teeth at night?

A: Teeth grinding – properly known as bruxism – is a very common problem. Symptoms include waking up in the morning with a sore jaw and a jaw that clicks when you chew.

If you suffer from bruxism, it’s very important to treat it as soon as possible. Left untreated, bruxism can cause extreme mouth pain and cracked or lost teeth. Stress is one of the main causes of bruxism, but there are other potential causes, including a crooked bite. If you show symptoms of night grinding, talk to your dentist about it soon.

Your dentist will probably suggest a custom-fit, plastic guard that you wear in your mouth while you sleep. This guard will prevent your upper and lower teeth from being able to come together, so you won’t grind your teeth at night. Over-the-counter guards are available at many drugstores, but these guards don’t fit as comfortably and they’re not as effective as custom guards.

Your dentist may also prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications to help you stop grinding your teeth. If your grinding is caused by a problem with the shape of your teeth, this can be corrected by removing the high points of the grinding teeth, or using crowns, inlays or orthodontic treatment.

If you want to learn more about bruxism and what you can do to stop it, visit our office in West Los Angeles.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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