Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Aminda Modrell, DDS

Dentist located in Alamo, CA

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can wear down, loosen, or fracture your teeth. Bruxism in common in both children and adults. If you have concerns that you or your child may be hurting their teeth with bruxism, Aminda Modrell, DDS, can give you answers by performing a thorough exam, including digital X-rays and intraoral photography, at her state-of-the-art office in Alamo, California. Call the office, or schedule an appointment online.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) Q & A

Aminda Modrell, DDS

Why do people grind their teeth?

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is something most people do now and then. Stress or anxiety may cause some people to grind their teeth more, but bruxism that causes dental problems usually occurs at night when you’re asleep. An uneven bite, missing, or crooked teeth can cause bruxism to be more frequent and more damaging.

Bruxism is common in adults, but it can cause dental problems for children, too. If you suspect your child is grinding their teeth at night, schedule a dental exam to determine if bruxism is causing issues with their developing teeth.

What are the signs of teeth grinding?

If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may not be aware that you are doing so. If you do have a problem with bruxism, you may notice some of these signs:

  • Sore jaw muscles, especially when you first wake up
  • Popping or clicking when you move your jaw
  • Frequent headaches, especially in the morning
  • Changes in the shape of some of your teeth
  • Teeth that are visibly slanted and uneven

Dr. Modrell checks for signs of teeth grinding at every exam and monitors any changes to determine if bruxism is harming your teeth.

How is bruxism treated?

If Dr. Modrell determines that bruxism is posing a danger to your child, she may recommend that you be fitted for a custom night guard. A night guard fits over your upper teeth to keep the upper and lower surfaces from coming into contact with each other. A night guard doesn’t stop you from grinding your teeth, but it can significantly reduce the damage to your teeth and the pain in your jaw caused by bruxism.

Dr. Modrell may also recommend some jaw exercises, relaxation, and stress-reduction techniques to help reduce the amount of time you spend grinding your teeth.

Sometimes, bruxism can be alleviated by fixing a different dental problem, such as teeth straightening with braces or Clear Braces, or replacing missing teeth with a bridge, implants or dentures. In some cases, surgery is required to realign the jaws so that teeth no longer rub together improperly.

To schedule an exam to check for signs of teeth grinding, call the office, or book an appointment online.