Teeth Grinding Relief in Columbia, IL

a woman holds her hand to her jaw | tmj treatment Columbia ILEveryone grinds their teeth from time to time during moments of tension or stress. Occasional grinding isn’t a concern, but chronic grinding and clenching can damage your teeth and lead to a wide array of problems, including TMJ 

Both the causes and symptoms of chronic teeth grinding (called bruxism) and TMJ can vary widely from person to person. Dr. Steven Workman can help eliminate painful grinding with treatment tailored specifically to fit your needs.

We can usually provide the relief you need with a simple appliance.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Chronic grinding and clenching is often related to a misaligned dental bite. If your bite is not balanced, you don’t bite down evenly on both sides and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ – the joint where your upper and lower jaw connect) may have to shift out of proper position to allow teeth to meet comfortably when the jaw closes.

When muscles that support the TMJ have to hold the joints out of their correct position whenever your teeth meet, they become painful and sore. Since teeth grinding most often occurs during sleep, one of the most common symptoms is pain in the jaw, neck, or shoulders upon awakening.

Problems Associated with Teeth Grinding

As if the painful symptoms weren't enough, the constant force placed on your teeth by grinding and clenching can lead to a number of dental concerns, including:

  • Excessive, uneven wear on teeth
  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Broken or cracked dental restorations
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)

A dentist holds a mouthguard | Teeth Grinding Treatment in Columbia ILEffective Treatment Options

Fortunately, we can help you avoid these problems with treatment options that reduce or eliminate teeth grinding.

Many people grind their teeth during the night without even knowing it. We solve this problem by providing you with a customized device that is worn while you sleep. This non-surgical device, known as an occlusal guard or occlusal splint, looks like a mouth guard and is designed to prevent grinding and clenching of your teeth while you sleep.

This effectively reduces teeth grinding and clenching, neck and jaw pain, and headaches associated with teeth grinding. Since the excess stress on your jaw is eliminated, the guard offers rapid relief from the painful symptoms of bruxism.

Another option is an NTI device. This appliance is worn over your two front teeth at night and prevents your canines and molars from coming into contact with each other. Dr. Workman is specially trained to customize the device so that it fits your mouth perfectly.

Custom Sport Guards

Custom sport guards are critical if you or your child are active in sports like soccer, basketball, and football. Considering the intensity of some of these activities, it shouldn’t be a surprise that up to 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports.

We highly recommend a customized sports guard that is made using impressions of your teeth. These are much more effective than over-the-counter mouth guards because they fit snugly over your teeth, providing an added layer of protection from injury.

Please Contact Us for More Information

Our priority is to protect your oral health in every way possible. This includes treating bruxism using effective options that prevent serious damage like broken teeth. Sports guards are a simple way to avoid injury to your teeth and ensure that they stay healthy and intact.

If you or your child need to be fitted for a sports guard or you are experiencing the symptoms of teeth grinding, please give our Columbia dental office a call. We will be happy to arrange an appointment to discuss your options for protecting your teeth from damage.