If you grind or clench your teeth, you’re not alone. In the United States alone, up to ten million people grind or clench their teeth. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding damages your smile and increases the risk of tooth decay and dental infection. At The Silverstrom Dental Group, we can diagnose the cause and assess the severity of your bruxism. Your Livingston dentists, Dr. David Silverstrom and Dr. Gary Silverstrom, offer comfortable and minimally invasive treatment for bruxism. Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Grinding Question: Why do I grind my teeth? Answer: A variety of factors may cause a patient to grind or clench their teeth. Trauma to the face or jaw, malocclusion, or bite misalignment, and stress are all common causes of bruxism. Question: What are the symptoms of bruxism? Answer: Many people who grind their teeth only do so during sleep. For some, this means they may be completely unaware they suffer from bruxism. Common symptoms of bruxism include: Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, toothaches, headaches, jaw pain, and pain when biting down or chewing. Question: What happens if I don’t seek treatment for teeth grinding? Answer: Our teeth are coated in a protective layer of tooth enamel. The enamel acts as a defense against harmful bacteria. When we grind our teeth, we can crack, chip, or even wear down the teeth. This allows bacteria to bypass the enamel and cause decay to form in the sensitive inner layers of tooth structure. As the decay spreads, the bacteria may reach the pulp. When this occurs, a dental infection may develop. Without treatment, the infection may kill the tooth, requiring immediate extraction. Question: How do I stop grinding my teeth? Answer: Some tips for easing bruxism include reducing stress and avoiding caffeine products before bed. Your Livingston dentists, Dr. David Silverstrom and Dr. Gary Silverstrom, may recommend an oral appliance. Similar to a night guard, this device stops bruxism by preventing the upper and lower teeth from touching. About Dr. David Silverstrom and Dr. Gary Silverstrom: The Silverstrom Dental Group provides the latest in comprehensive dental care for patients in Livingston, NJ and surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call (973) 797-9345.