Teeth Grinding

Do you wake up without feeling like you got a full night of rest? Is this sometimes accompanied by a headache or a toothache? Are you experiencing jaw joint pain? Has Dr. Lepore noticed during your routine dental exams that your teeth have been becoming flatter or that you’re developing cracks in your teeth? Teeth grinding or bruxism, can occur while you are awake or asleep. Unconsciously clenching your teeth is typically associated with bruxism. 

Your teeth should only make contact for around 3-4 minutes during the day, when you chew your food. When there is constant force on your teeth grinding or clenching, tooth structure is worn away, exposing the inner sensitive layers of your teeth. Extreme bruxism can lead to cracks and fractures in your teeth. (link to broken teeth page) 
You may have a temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ), which can contribute to jaw pain and bruxism.

TMJ Disorder Video:

Common Symptoms of Bruxism

  • Worn tooth structure
  • Flattened teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity 
  • Jaw soreness
  • Tender facial muscles
  • Headaches 
  • Audible grinding sounds that can be heard by others around you 

Teeth grinding has commonly been linked to airway disturbances such as sleep apnea or acid reflux. During your comprehensive examination, Dr. Lepore and your hygienist will evaluate you for airway disorders. 

Bruxism Video

Sleep Related Teeth Grinding / Bruxism (SRB)

To brux or grind your teeth while sleeping may indicate that have a sleep-related breathing disorder such as snoring or sleep apnea. As your body tries to take in more oxygen during a sleep “event”, a grinding habit, known as a rhythmic masticatory muscle activity (RMMA) occurs, causing spastic jaw opening/closing muscle activity resulting in grinding events.

Treatment for Teeth Grinding

Occlusal Guard (Night Guard)

Left untreated, jaw disorders, headaches and damage to teeth can develop. Dr. Lepore may recommend an oral appliance called a night guard (occlusal guard) to be worn while you sleep. An occlusal/night guard is a custom fabricated removable oral appliance that fits over your teeth and can be an upper or a lower guard. It is used to prevent the wearing down of teeth during sleep caused by grinding or clenching, and can help extend the life of your teeth and restorations. 

Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea 

Should a sleep disorder be suspected, Dr. Lepore may recommend administering a home sleep test (HST) or polysomnography (In-Lab Sleep Test). Dr. Lepore will work in conjunction with your primary care physician and medical specialists such as board certified sleep physicians and otolaryngologists (Ear, Nose and Throat – ENT) to determine what the appropriate treatment would be, should a condition of sleep disordered breathing be diagnosed. While CPAP is the standard of care for sleep apnea, some patients choose oral appliance therapy as a comparable alternative.

Prevent tooth damage now

You should give Dr. Lepore a call today if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, or have concerns about your jaw and teeth.

5

I have never had a dentist or hygienist care so much for me as a person. I have had sensitive teeth my whole life with every other dentist or hygienist ignoring my concerns. Majority of my cleanings HURT. I’ve had major disregard to my personal pain tolerance and lack of really giving AF. BUT Dr. Lapore really took the time to get to know me as a person and listen to my dental concerns. His hygienist Jessica was absolutely phenomenal, I almost fell asleep in the chair! The quality of the staff at Dr Lepore’s office has left me speechless. From the front desk lady, to the girl who checked me out after my visit. I highly highly recommend them! If you’re looking for quality care, to be seen as a person and not just a patient. Dr Lepore and his staff is the place for you!

If you are looking for a highly trained and experienced dentist in dunedin,
you have come to the right place