The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 8 percent of adults suffer from teeth grinding. The same survey found that as much as a third of children exhibit the behavior. Bruxism is characterized by night-time grinding of the teeth. If you are a parent, you may have noticed the signs of bruxism. The sound of teeth grinding can be very alarming. Often, teeth grinding can be heard at night from outside the child’s bedroom. 

Bruxism is not uncommon in children. At any age, orthodontics can be prescribed to treat certain cases of teeth grinding. Are you a candidate for braces as a treatment for bruxism? Read on to learn more. 

Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism

Do you wake up with headaches? Do your teeth appear worn? Understandably, many people do not know they suffer from bruxism until they are diagnosed. The causes of the condition are often neurological and only occur when sufferers are in a deep state of sleep. This is one reason why twice-a-year visits to the dentist are important. In adults, bruxism can result from stress, certain medications, overconsumption of alcohol, or malocclusion, among other causes. 

At Aviara Centers, our doctors are trained to look for signs of bruxism. 

Bruxism can lead to TMJ disorder and symptoms that can include:

  • Facial pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Sore gums
  • Earaches

Physical pain can lead to depression, eating disorders, insomnia, difficulty sleeping, and relationship issues. During your visit to Aviara Centers, one of our doctors will inquire into your symptoms before conducting a thorough examination of your teeth and jaw. We have a Board-certified orthodontist on staff, and Dr. Katherine Ahn Wallace is a pediatric dentist who has advanced training in breathing disorders. 

Can braces treat bruxism?

When the teeth do not rest comfortably together at night, the irritation can prompt teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which can lead to tooth damage, increased risk of tooth decay, and other dental problems. During your exam, one of our doctors will be able to determine if tooth alignment or jaw issues are the cause of your bruxism. To treat teeth and jaw misalignment issues, our office offers traditional metal braces, Invisalign, and other treatment options. After several weeks or a few months of treatment, patients may begin experiencing relief from nighttime bruxism.

Our office also offers treatments for sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that disrupts breathing at night. Numerous studies, including one from the National Institutes of Health, have found that sleep apnea can cause teeth grinding. If you snore heavily, or if your partner reports that you periodically stop breathing at night, you may have the dangerous condition known as sleep apnea. Our office can prescribe a custom oral appliance that can open your airway at night.  

There are numerous health and cosmetic benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment. Straight teeth are less prone to tooth decay, and a bright, attractive smile is always in fashion. 

Call Today to Schedule Your Consultation for Braces

If you wake up with toothaches or headaches, you may be one of the millions of adults who suffer from bruxism. Whether you are seeking treatment for you or your child, the dental experts at Aviara Centers can provide comprehensive care that can improve your smile and quality of life. Call (714) 408-7317 to schedule an appointment.