What you should know about teeth grinding
Do you wake up with jaw pain, headaches, or feel that your teeth are starting to deteriorate? Many people grind their teeth without even noticing, especially while sleeping.
Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, affects about 8% of middle-aged adults in the US. However, because many people are unaware that they grind their teeth at night, exact numbers on how many adults suffer from sleep bruxism are difficult to come by.
This problem also affects children and teens. According to studies, bruxism affects anywhere from 6% to nearly 50% of children.
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Do I have bruxism?
Many patients have no idea they are grinding their teeth until someone else points it out — for example, their partner or their dentist during a regular check-up.
If you think you may have bruxism, pay attention to the following symptoms:
- Headaches or jaw pain, especially after waking up
- Stiff jaw or neck in the mornings
- TMJ symptoms
- Toothaches or tooth sensitivity
- Visible damage to the teeth (like chips and worn enamel)
- Teeth that seem to be shorter than they used to be
- Tooth decay
- Gum recession
Why am I grinding my teeth?
Bruxism can be caused by many factors, including:
- Age – Tooth grinding is more common in children and adolescents. It’s less common in middle-aged adults and older adults.
- Genes – Bruxism can run in families. If you have a family member who grinds their teeth, your bruxism may be hereditary.
- Emotional factors – Psychological factors like anxiety, stress, and depression have been linked to bruxism.
- Smoking and drinking – Consuming alcohol, cigarettes, and/or coffee can lead to tooth grinding.
- Health issues – People with sleep apnea or taking certain medications are more prone to grind their teeth.
How can I stop grinding my teeth?
If you have one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, you may be suffering from bruxism. However, it’s important to visit Dr. Jensen at Chugach Dental in Anchorage, AK to get a proper diagnosis.
If you are suffering from bruxism, a mouthguard or other treatment may be recommended to help stop your grinding. Depending on the severity of your case, restorative treatment may also be recommended to fix the damage to your teeth, like a filling or a crown.
What happens if tooth grinding is not treated?
People can clench their teeth employing a force of up to 250 pounds.
Continuous bruxism can cause a lot of damage to your teeth and mouth, including:
- Chips and fractures
- Enamel wearing
- Gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity
Payment and Insurance
We do not accept Medicaid or Medicare insurance.
Have a question about how much the dental services you need will cost with insurance? Call our Anchorage dentist office today at (907) 868-3000.
No insurance? No problem.
Chugach dental offers a variety of payment options, including 0% interest from CareCredit. You may also be interested in our Healthy Smile Club which starts at $50.01/month ($46.70 for kids 12 and under) and includes cleanings, exams, discounts on treatments, and a whole lot more.
If you don’t have dental insurance, don’t worry. We’re here to help.
Your Teeth Grinding Dentist in Anchorage
At Chugach Dental, we love to help our patients have a healthy, beautiful smile. If you or a loved one is grinding their teeth, we can help. Call (907) 868-3000 to schedule.
Anchorage Dentist Office
Address: 9138 Arlon St. Ste. B3, Anchorage, AK 99507
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 8AM - 4PM
Phone: (907) 868-3000
Find us near Abbott Road and Lake Otis Parkway in Anchorage.
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