With the appropriate care, your permanent teeth can last a lifetime. However, many Americans are causing damage to their permanent teeth without even being aware of such problematic issues. Teeth grinding in Fairfax, VA is a leading cause of jaw pain and enamel deterioration. Dr. J. Alexander Withers helps patients manage this concern through targeted solutions, aimed at improving overall dental health.  

An Unconscious Habit

Many people are entirely unaware that they are grinding their teeth. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, often occurs during sleep. Though occasional bruxism is relatively common and is unlikely to cause damage to the teeth and jaw, chronic grinding can lead to a range of various problems. These are just some of the concerns associated with bruxism:  

 ·         Tooth fractures
 ·         Worn down enamel
 ·         Loosened teeth
 ·         Jaw pain
 ·         Hearing loss
 ·         Tooth loss
 ·         Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders  

Can I Prevent Bruxism?  

There are some strategies that may assist those afflicted by nightly teeth grinding. For instance, avoiding foods and beverages with caffeine and limiting alcohol consumption can be one method of hindering triggers for bruxism. It is imperative to make a conscious effort to relax your jaw before falling asleep and avoidance in chewing on hard surfaces, or items that are not meant for consumption. Prescription drugs may also assist in reducing the anxiety and stress that triggers nightly grinding.  

Preserving Teeth Using a Mouth Guard

A mouth guard (also called an occlusal) is a small tray that fits against the upper row of teeth. Each guard is precisely custom made to fit individual patients. Drug store mouth guard kits are available as well, but do not offer the same precise fit, as that of custom trays.   Although a mouth guard will assist in preventing the wear and damage associated with bruxism, it does not remedy the cause of the occurrence. A consultation with a dentist, specializing in bruxism and TMJ concerns, is recommended to determine the underlying cause. Patients will then have access to the personalized recommendations required to manage this persistent condition.  

Make Your Appointment Today

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Withers, please call (571) 317-2563. New patient consultations regarding bruxism, laser dentistry, and dental implants are always welcome.