Occlusal trauma, meaning injury from the bite, can injure and inflame the jaw joints leading to feelings of soreness, swelling and even dysfunction. You may hear the word “bruxism” from your Scottsdale dentist as well, which means: condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. Having these habits cause the teeth to wear down at a much faster rate than the typical rate from aging. In some cases, the periodontal ligaments holding teeth in place can weaken, increasing the risk of losing teeth.
There are several ways to treat excessive biting habits, all having a goal to reduce the amount of force generated by the habit to alleviate the problems that occur as a result. A custom-made occlusal guard, often worn while sleeping, helps give your teeth a rest at night by separating your arches from making contact. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen, muscle relaxants or physical therapy can help relieve tissue soreness from occlusal trauma. Behavioral therapy and counseling may also be helpful if stress is the leading factor to unfavorable clenching, grinding, and biting habits.
A dental exam and discussion with your Scottsdale Dentist will determine if a tooth grinding habit is playing a role in your teeth and gum problems. With care, your occlusal trauma can be relieved.
If you would like more information on teeth grinding or other biting habits, please give us a call to schedule a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Teeth.”