Do You Grind or Clench Your Teeth?

Do You Grind or Clench Your Teeth?

Occlusal disease better known as grinding or clenching your teeth is the most common and widespread problem we face today in dentistry.  Most people have one of these para-functional habits and suffer from related symptoms 

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache, stiff neck, or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.


Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache starting in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep disruption

What’s behind all that night-time gnashing

  1. Teeth Problems: Perhaps your teeth don’t line up correctly or you have teeth that are missing or crooked. The misalignment, which is also known as occlusion, means that the teeth don’t meet when the jaw opens and closes. This could be due to an issue with the temporomandibular joint or the muscles around the jaw. For example, if those facial muscles spasm during sleep, you could start grinding your teeth. To know if this is the cause of your tooth grinding, you’ll need to visit a dentist who can take X-rays and give you a proper diagnosis.
  2. Anxiety and Stress: When you are worrying excessively, you are likelier to clench your jaw and work it back and forth throughout the night, wearing your teeth down. Problems at work, in relationships, or due to finances don’t just go away because it’s nighttime. The more stress that you feel, the worse off your nights will be. And the more you try to ignore the stress, the likelier you are to be a heavy tooth grinder. 
  3. Other Medical Conditions: Certain medications, like some antidepressants, or disorders like Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, can cause bruxism. Even having too much stomach acid reflux or suffering from sleep apnea can lead to nighttime grinding.

What do I do if I think I grind my teeth?

If you have any of the listed symptoms, see your dentist.  Many patients go from doctor to doctor trying to find a cure, but never consult the dentist for the accurate diagnosis and treatment.  Just like all the other parts of your body wear out, like your hip, knee, elbow, shoulder and heart valve wear out and need replacement, so do your teeth. In 1950 most of the population accepted that a full denture is in their future.  Now that the future is here and we keep our teeth for life, we need to protect them and prevent destruction. That is the function of a night guard. PROTECT YOUR TEETH. It is like an insurance policy. Don’t ignore the diagnosis, and save your teeth today.  You will wish that you did in 30 or 40 years from now when you are told that all of your teeth will need replacement.  See Dr. Chanin at Diamond Dental Associates, LLC today to evaluate your mouth and determine if an occlusal guard will benefit you.  Minimal investment with tremendous value.

Diamond Dental Associates, LLC     908-838-0004

Do you want your teeth to look like this?
This is what grinding can do to you!!!!

Xylitol A Game Changer for Dentistry

A Game Changer for Dentistry

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose), it gives bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities to begin to form.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With the dental benefits of Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Most people are not aware of this benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug, crossing a boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Fewer Bacteria, Less Acid – Healthier Teeth!

Because the bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall. After taking xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.
Repairing damaged enamel

Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva, in particular, contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. If sugar is only taken a couple of times a day, the saliva can do the job alone. But most people take sugar so often that the mouth’s own defensive tools are not enough.
The dental benefits of xylitol also include saliva. Saliva that has xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. After taking xylitol products, the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva and plaque may rise, and plaque pH rises as well. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak. Therefore, soft, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.

If you have acid reflux, dry mouth, diabetes, have had radiation treatment, chemotherapy, are on many prescription medications, Xylitol can be a good answer for you. Call Dr. Chanin at 908-838-0004 today to find out how Xylitol in combination with other home care recommendations can help you prevent your teeth from decaying. Call Diamond Dental Associates today for a healthier more beautiful smile.