Ask the Doctor: Teeth grinding - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Health

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Ask the Doctor: Teeth grinding

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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 5:00 am

Why does grinding occur?

It’s normally an involuntary action. If during the day, it may occur when a person is stressed or really concentrating. If it happens during the night, then it is harder to control or stop.

Grinding your teeth at night sometimes is associated with an airway obstruction. If a parent has a child that is grinding or has flat teeth then they should have a pediatrician check their child. It could be a problem with the anatomy of the child’s throat, enlarged tonsils, or enlarged adenoids. Sometimes there is not enough oxygen in-take so we move our jaw forward which opens the airway. If the jaw moves backwards and forwards numerous times then you are grinding your teeth.

Obesity, high blood pressure, enlarged tongue, nasal obstruction, and jaw relationship are some other factors that cause people to grind their teeth. While lying down, the fat tissue anatomy of the neck, for example, can compress against the airway making it difficult to breathe.

How will I know if I am grinding?

The back of the neck, the muscles in front of the ear, the muscles around the temples, and jaw will often times be sore or aching. If grinding or clenching at night, you may feel the symptoms when waking up in morning. If grinding or clenching during the day, the symptoms will be felt during the day. Your general dentist can also evaluate the wear patterns of your teeth to check for evidence of grinding or clenching.

How can I fix this?

There are a couple options. If grinding/clenching during the day, relieve yourself of any stress if possible. If you can’t or are continuing to grind your teeth, you can wear a bite guard, which is a plastic appliance that is similar to a retainer. If you are grinding at night, talk to your primary care physician or dentist and get a sleep study done.

Who is the doctor at BellaVista DentalCare Group?

The primary doctor at the office is Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar, D.M.D. She graduated from the University of Pittsburg School of Dental Medicine and did her advanced residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. For more than 13 years, Dr. B has been providing dental care to Phoenix residents.

BellaVista DentalCare Group

Rashmi Bhatnagar

15715 S. 46th St. Suite 104

Phoenix, AZ 85048

Office: 480.598.5900

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