Do you or a family member grind, clench, or gnash their teeth? Bruxism is the involuntary grinding of teeth at night or during the day. This isn't necessarily a significant worry, but if you grind your teeth frequently and forcefully, it could harm your teeth in the long run or influence your health in other ways.
Treatments for teeth grinding differ from case to case, and they may address both the physical and psychological aspects of the problem. Your dentist may work with other medical specialists to treat the underlying cause of bruxism as well as its symptoms.
Many people have bruxism without realizing it or even realizing it's a problem. If you grind your teeth at sleep, you may not realize it until someone informs you or sees other symptoms. These can include the following:
Other diseases, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), can produce some of these symptoms, although bruxism is the most common cause.
Bruxism therapies are divided into psychological and lifestyle risk factors for bruxism and physical treatments to keep teeth from grinding together.
Dentists may offer a variety of therapies to help prevent bruxism and heal any damage already done to your teeth, depending on the origin and severity of your condition.
Caffeine, alcohol, illegal drugs, and other chemicals that encourage jaw clenching and grinding can all be avoided or reduced to reduce your risk of bruxism. It would be best if you also refrain from chewing gum or items such as pens.
If you think your medications are the problem, you may want to talk to your doctor about changing your prescription.
Bruxism is commonly caused by stress and worry. Your dentist may suggest relaxing strategies like meditation or yoga or refer you to expert treatments like counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy.
By training your tongue and jaw muscles and allowing them to relax more efficiently, you may be able to learn your jaw not to clench or grind. Your dentist or a physical therapist may advise you to do exercises. Muscle relaxation may be aided by massaging your jaw.
Because bruxism is frequently linked to other sleeping disorders, resolving these issues and increasing your sleep quality may help you stop grinding your teeth at night. Aim to go to bed, wake up consistently, relax in the evening, and obtain 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
Your dentist may prescribe wearing a biting splint over your teeth at night to prevent further tooth damage and jaw strain. These can be custom designed to fit comfortably over the upper or lower teeth to prevent the teeth from grinding together, similar to a sports mouthguard.
A bite splint can help with nocturnal bruxism discomfort and other symptoms. Regular use of a biting splint may minimize or eliminate teeth grinding in some people, but this isn't always the case, and your dentist will generally recommend alternative treatments to address the underlying cause of the problem.
Your dentist may be able to stabilize your bite by extending or decreasing your teeth if an uneven biting surface causes your bruxism. Teeth that are too long or irregular can be reduced in size, while teeth that are too short or worn down can be built up with dental crowns or massive fillings.
Crowns, fillings, and dental bonding can also be used to treat teeth that have been worn, chipped, or broken as a result of grinding.
If bruxism is caused by protruding, crowded, or otherwise misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatment with aligners, braces, or other devices may be used to address the problem. However, because orthodontics is a long-term treatment that might take months or even years to complete, other teeth grinding solutions will be required in the interim.
Smile repair in a flash If you grind your teeth, dental veneers are not recommended since they have a high risk of cracking or coming free when put under strain.
If exercise fails to relax your jaw muscles, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant. However, this is only a temporary solution.
Biofeedback therapy uses electrical stimulation to teach bruxism patients how to regulate their jaw muscles better. Biofeedback may help with bruxism in the short term, although there isn't much research on it right now.
The injection of toxin to relax the jaw muscle is a less well-known treatment for teeth grinding. Because this toxin is typically employed for cosmetic purposes to lessen the appearance of aging, additional research is needed to establish its safety and efficacy as a bruxism therapy option if other approaches fail.
If you suspect you or a family member suffers from bruxism, schedule an appointment with one of our Sunlight Dental dentists to receive a professional diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
In Cheyenne, Wyoming, we have a dental clinic. Call us at (307) 638-8071 or make a reservation online.