With colder weather upon us, you might find yourself shivering when you’re outside. You may not even notice your teeth chattering, or if you do, you probably don’t think much about it. But did you know that actions such as teeth chattering, clenching, and grinding your teeth could all be causing damage to your pearly whites? Even though most of the time these actions are done subconsciously, it’s important to be aware of what the consequences can be and how, as your dentist in Erlanger, I can help you.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the term for clenching and grinding your teeth. Typically this takes place at night, while you are sleeping, so you may not even be aware that you’re doing it. However, your bed partner might know because grinding your teeth can be loud.

It can also cause damage to your teeth and your oral health such as:

  • Small fractures or chipping to your teeth
  • Excessive wear
  • Joint problems such as TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Tenderness in your jaw or when biting or chewing
  • Headaches or migraines

The Good News

The good news is that I can help protect your teeth from the damage that bruxism causes with a comfortable night guard that you can wear at night while you sleep. A night guard is made from plastic and it fits over your teeth to protect them. It can also be designed to relax your jaw muscles, which helps prevent you from clenching and grinding your teeth.

Orthodontic treatment may be helpful for patients who suffer from bite misalignment. When your teeth are not properly aligned, it can cause clenching, grinding, and issues with your jaw joint.

I also recommend Botox treatments for some patients to relax muscles and alleviate symptoms of bruxism. I can administer those treatments right in the comfort of my office, and the effects last for about 4 months.

If you find yourself outside with your teeth chattering, I prescribe some hot cocoa to warm you up! If you suspect you may suffer from bruxism, I recommend that you call our office and schedule an examination to determine the best treatment for your needs.