Teeth Chattering: Should You Be Concerned?
Posted on 1/25/2021 by Dr. Michael Wockenfus
|When we are cold, we experience involuntary teeth chattering. This is also often accompanied by shivering in our bodies. When this happens, it is just your body sending a signal that you need to warm up.
However, Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS and Dr. Wockenfus at Mid Valley Dental say that in some cases, teeth chattering can be a sign of an underlying condition.
What Causes Your Teeth to Chatter?
When your body realizes that its internal temperature may drop below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, it causes our muscles to rapidly expand and contract to generate heat. This causes shivering, which, in turn, causes the jaw muscles to jump up and down, resulting in our teeth clacking together.
In some cases, your teeth may chatter even though you may not be cold. This usually happens when you are feverish and your body is trying to fight off an infection.
On the other, some people may suffer from bruxism which leads to their teeth chattering in their sleep.
Teeth chattering may also be due to oromandibular dystonia, a condition that results in forceful jaw muscle contractions. This condition may occur on its own or may co-occur with Parkinson's or Wilson's disease.
Should You Worry About Your Teeth Chattering?
Most of the time, your teeth chatter because you are cold. Therefore, all you need to do is bundle up. However, if your teeth-chattering is caused by bruxism or a disease, you need to get it fixed.
Bruxism or teeth grinding can have a terrible effect on your teeth. It can weaken and wear down your enamel, cause tooth fractures, break dental restorations like fillings and crowns, put you at high risk of sensitivity and tooth decay, and can result in jaw and facial pain.
Oromandibular dystonia can prevent you from chewing, swallowing, and speaking properly reducing your quality of life.
Treatment For Teeth Chattering?
At Mid Valley Dental, Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS and Dr. Wockenfus can help you figure out what causes your teeth chattering. If you have been diagnosed with bruxism or dystonia, we may recommend the appropriate treatment.
For bruxism, we may recommend wearing a custom-fit mouthguard to protect your teeth and to perform exercises that can relax your jaw.
Treatment for dystonia is different for each patient but often includes the use of oral medication, sensory exercises, and Botox injections to manage the symptoms.
If you experience persistent chattering teeth or your partner notices your teeth chattering while you are asleep, you should call us at (920) 215-4160 so that we can diagnose your condition and treat it in the right way.