Bruxism, commonly know as tooth grinding, is a very common process. Bruxism is defined as the involuntary grinding and clinching of teeth. Most causes include: fatigue, anxiety, stress, or fear. The act of bruxism is nearly impossible to treat. Even with removal of all fatigue, stress or fear many people would still frequently grind their teeth. Due to the difficulty in treating the act of grinding we at Allen Dental use bruxism therapies to protect teeth and the jaw joint from the damaging effects of bruxism. The most common effect from bruxism is tooth wear. In many cases as the teeth grind they slowly wear the tooth structure away. As the tooth wears it exposes tooth structure that is normally covered and protected that may be sensitive or wear much more quickly. To prevent tooth wear a night guard or occlusal guard is recommended. Another symptom associated with bruxism is jaw joint discomfort or TMD (temporomandibular joint disfunction). TMD can be very difficult to treat. At Allen Dental we treat TMD conservatively with reversible therapies. If treatments don’t result in reduced symptoms a referral to a specialist can be made. Tooth wear and jaw joint pain can become severe without treatment. If you grind your teeth or have noticed teeth changing shape give us a call to evaluate your need for bruxism treatment.