Teeth grinding is a common dental concern with a range of causes, from stress to an underlying bite disorder. Dr. Val Ludlow is a Salt Lake City area dentist with advanced training and over 35 years of experience treating the effects of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Left untreated, teeth grinding and jaw clenching can lead to more complex dental problems and even tooth loss.
Teeth Grinding: Common Symptoms
Dr. Ludlow will evaluate your overall dental health and discuss your personal dental concerns and lifestyle habits. Common signs of teeth grinding can include:
- Worn teeth
- Damaged, cracked or chipped teeth
- Jaw pain
- Frequent headaches
- Ear pain
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Difficulty chewing
Dr. Ludlow uses the advanced TruDenta system for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of teeth grinding and related bite problems. Using TruDenta, Dr. Ludlow can analyze the force of your bite and the location of muscle tension in the jaw, head and neck area. This enables him to recommend and provide treatment that targets the exact cause of your teeth grinding for more effective and lasting results.
Treating Teeth Grinding in Salt Lake City
After your complete analysis, Dr. Ludlow will recommend a personalized treatment plan designed to reduce teeth grinding and restore your dental health. As needed, tooth damage can be addressed to avoid losing a tooth down the road. Treatment options can include:
- Mouth guards or splint therapy: also called a night guard, a custom fit oral appliance that will position the jaw correctly is often the first part of treatment in stabilizing a bite problem. For patients who suffer with stress induced teeth grinding, a mouth guard is used to prevent teeth grinding by relaxing the jaw.
- Restorative dentistry: realigning the bite and repairing damaged teeth can be achieved with restorative dental treatments such as dental crowns, veneers and tooth bonding.
- Orthodontics: if crooked teeth are contributing to your teeth grinding, Dr. Ludlow may refer you to a local orthodontist for treatment.
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
Dr. Ludlow will work cooperatively with a local sleep study specialist or your general physician for diagnosis of your sleep apnea. Once a treatment plan is determined between you and your doctors, Dr. Ludlow can custom fabricate an oral sleep device.
An alternative to the CPAP, oral sleep appliances reposition the teeth and jaw to help keep your airway open during sleep. The discreet, easily portable device is worn at night. Custom fit to your mouth, the device is comfortable to wear. Many patients experience almost immediate relief from headaches and grogginess once they begin wearing their sleep device. An oral sleep device is much like a sports mouthguard and when used consistently, will reduce symptoms and restore an improved quality of life.