Tooth grinding, also known as Bruxism, can have a variety of causes, but is often the sign of an underlying bite or temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
Many patients do not realize that they are clenching or grinding their teeth because it often occurs during sleep. Birmingham dentist Dr. Bruce Spink can recognize the signs of bruxism during routine dental visits and have post graduate training in the diagnosis and treatment of TMD, commonly called TMJ. They will take the time to identify the underlying cause of the bite disorder and recommend the appropriate treatment in order to both alleviate symptoms and restore oral health.
Patients who grind or clench their teeth may notice that they frequently awaken with headaches, ear or jaw pain or that their teeth appear to be flat on the top as surfaces are worn down. The uneven forces placed upon the jaw joints and teeth in a patient with a bite disorder can cause many dental problems which can become more complex the longer it goes untreated.
For many patients with bruxism, Dr. Spink may recommend the use of a custom fit mouth guard which will prevent teeth grinding and relax the jaw muscles. To address an imbalance and repair possible damage, Dr. Spink may recommend a restorative dental procedure or orthodontic treatment to repair and/or realign the teeth.
Treating bruxism is important to restore dental health and reduce the risk of damage to the teeth and gums. Untreated, bruxism can even lead to tooth loss.
Visiting Dr. Spink twice a year for preventive care visits gives he and his staff the opportunity to spot problems such as bruxism in the early stages, when conservative treatment can be most effective.
If you have’t been to the dentist in a while, contact our Vestavia Hills dentist office and schedule appointment- we welcome patients who struggle with dental anxiety or who have complex dental problems that need to be diagnosed and treated to restore oral health. We look forward to seeing you!