Teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, is something that many adults and children do occasionally, especially when they're under stress. For some people, teeth grinding can become a serious problem that causes damage to the teeth, gums and jaw. Although stress is one of the common causes of bruxism, the underlying issue may be related to tooth and jaw alignment.
Individuals who have crooked teeth or a bad bite may be prone to teeth grinding. To stop any more damage, orthodontic braces could be a solution. The appliance will gently push teeth into the correct positions and allow pressure from bites to be distributed evenly.
If bruxism is not treated, it could result in the following:
- Chipped teeth
- Increased temperature sensitivity
- Painful chewing
- Sore face and jaw
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disease)
- Worn-down tooth enamel.
While all types of orthodontic braces can move crooked teeth, patients dealing with bruxism may benefit from an appliance like Invisalign to fix the issue. The device is a clear plastic aligner that gently moves teeth into place. They are comfortable and can stop some of the clenching and grinding because teeth can't touch when the tray is being worn.
Other bruxism remedies include:
- Lifestyle changes like avoiding caffeine and alcohol
- Stress reduction techniques like exercise or meditation
- Wearing a mouth guard.
If you think your or your child's bruxism is caused by a misalignment, you will need to consult with an orthodontist. A professional in this field is the best person to determine the cause of the problem and provide a recommendation to fix it. If you have any questions, contact a New York City orthodontist today. The staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists would be happy to work with you.