What should I know about teeth grinding?
If you grind your teeth, you may have to deal with long-term consequences. Bruxism — excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching — is a condition commonly caused by stress and anxiety. This poor oral behavior can also be attributed to dental misalignments or even missing teeth. Both grinding and clenching place a lot of strain on the teeth, which wears them down gradually over time and deteriorates the tooth enamel. Severe bruxism can have a negative impact on your oral health, as well as the appearance of your jaw and face shape.
Why is grinding of the teeth bad?
Repetitive grinding typically leads to the shifting and crowding of the teeth, which, in turn, affects their sensitivity, length, and coloration. With bruxism, the teeth can also become flat, chipped, or broken. In my practice, one of the most common complaints I hear from my older patients is a collapsed smile formed by clenching and grinding. Additionally, teeth grinding sometimes contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. TMJ is a painful condition that causes the muscles in the lower jaw to lock up, altering the way the mouth opens and closes. Constant muscle spasms can result in frequent headaches and a sore jaw. Ringing in the ears is another symptom of teeth grinding because the TMJ of the lower jaw is located next to the ear.
How can bruxism be treated?
A “smile lift” can improve your jaw shape and the appearance of your smile. Botox is an effective jaw clenching treatment that works by paralyzing the muscles that cause tension along the jaw. The freezing of the masseter muscle along the jaw prevents the tension in the facial muscles that causes bruxism’s pain and damage. Botox also works to remove wrinkles caused by a collapsed bite. Most patients will start noticing a significant decrease in, if not complete resolution of, their teeth grinding symptoms within two weeks of the injection. A typical BOTOX® treatment dose for this area ranges from up to 50 units on each side — for a total treatment dose of 100 units. The effects of Botox typically last about 6 months.
Repair and restore your smile at Essential Aesthetics!
Our medical provider, Dr. Ellie Zarnegar, DMSc, PA-C can help regenerate your smile, and give you a more youthful appearance. Call or text our office today at 925.855.177 to book a consultation appointment!