Chino Hills Dentist Dr. Han Discusses Teeth Grinding

ChinoHillsDentist_Dr. Han

Do you clench your teeth together tightly during the day out of habit? Have you been told by a sleep partner or family member that you grind or “gnash” your teeth at night?

The technical term for this condition in which you clench or grind teeth together while contracting jaw muscles is called “bruxism.” People with serious cases of bruxism should consult with their gnathologist, or dentist who focuses on all aspects of teeth, jaw and the chewing process as a whole.

In a normal 12 hour day, the upper and lower teeth come in contact during normal chewing for only 25-30 minutes.  If you are suffering from sleep bruxism, the upper and lower teeth may be in contact for as much as 40 minutes per hour of sleep!

Bruxism can result in worn down teeth.  Additional signs that you may be experiencing bruxism include headaches, tired jaw muscles and jaw pain.  Anxiety, stress, coffee, tea, alcohol/drug use and some anti-depressants can increase the risk of bruxism.

Bruxism can be mild, with only a few symptoms, or it can be severe and continuous.  If it’s the latter, bruxism can cause major damage to all structures associated with chewing — the teeth, gums, bone, muscles and the structures of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).  This leads to inflammation, and even dislocation of the cartilage.

Bruxism, combined with bad bite, or misalignment of the teeth are dental causes of TMD, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

TMD is a common, debilitating condition characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain, jaw joint noises like clicking and popping, jaw locking and  grinding teeth, very sensitive teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears.  Bruxism is one of the symptoms of TMD, but TMD can also CAUSE bruxism.

FOSA – a therapy that does wonders for TMD patients – is also helpful in treating buxism.  FOSA stands for F.A.C.E Orthopedic Stabilizing Appliance.  It is a removable, hard acrylic appliance that will eliminate all the physical stress from your teeth, muscles and joints and protect your teeth from grinding damage.

The FOSA therapy effectively protects esthetic porcelain and resin restorations from the ravages of nocturnal bruxing and clenching.  FOSA therapy is sometimes used in conjunction with other dental treatments such as onlays and inlays to cure TMD without surgery.

If you are experiencing any teeth grinding, jaw pain, chewing discomfort or headaches, it’s important to see a  trained gnathologist like Dr. Han who can accurately diagnose your symptoms and offer a systematic approach using C.E.O. Dentistry, the most precise and consistent way to bring your mouth to health where your teeth, gum, bite, jaw joints and muscles are comfortable.

VIP Dentistry by David S. Han, D.D.S. | 4200 Chino Hills Pkwy. Suite 355 | Chino Hills, CA 91709 | Phone 909.597.1770

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