Tooth grinding, known as “bruxism,” is not only an annoyance to fellow sleepers, but it can also be a real problem for those who grind their back teeth together at night. As a result of sliding their teeth over one another (generally in a sideways, back-and-forth movement), bruxers can cause tooth wear and fractures. If a malocclusion (bite misalignment) is at the root of the problem, orthodontic treatment may help by aligning the teeth and placing them in their correct positions. Doing so allows the teeth to come in contact with each other in a way that directs biting forces down the long axis of the teeth and distributes them to surrounding tissues. Stress reduction may also help.
Most people have some degree of bruxism. Some people only grind their teeth a little and show few symptoms, but for those who grind frequently and over a period of many years, the effects on teeth and the surrounding bone and gum structure can be severe. To schedule a free orthodontic consultation, please call Fredericksburg Orthodontics & Invisalign Center at (540) 898-7211. The office is located at 10618 Spotsylvania Ave. (Lee’s Hill Center on Rt. 1 South). Office hours are Monday through Friday with evening appointments available.
P.S. If a patient has a severe grinding or clenching habit, a mouthpiece splint can be introduced to break the habit.