Bruxism Treatment to Relieve Pain
Bruxism is the technical term for unconscious grinding and clenching of teeth. Many patients experience bruxism only while sleeping, but others grind and clench their teeth all day long. Bruxism may seem like a relatively harmless bad habit, but when left untreated, it can lead to any number of adverse effects on oral and overall health. At Torbram Dental, our experienced dentists and knowledgeable team offer a variety of treatment options to repair teeth damaged by bruxism and preventive services to keep smiles whole and healthy. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, don’t risk damaging your oral health one day longer. Contact our team to find out more or schedule an appointment today.
Bruxism Causes & Side Effects
There is no one specific cause of bruxism, but some of the reasons patients are said to experience bruxism include:
- Habit – some patients from a very young age build the habit of clenching their teeth together which can lead to serious damage over time
- Bite misalignment – patients with misaligned teeth may place excessive pressure on one part of their bite or grind teeth seeking a comfortable resting position
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction – patients with TMJ dysfunction often grind their teeth at night due to an inability to find relief from stress on those joints that attach the jaw to the skull
- Stress – people are more likely to clench their teeth when they are angry or under stress, and in cases of stress-related bruxism, removing or reducing stress is typically adequate to protect oral health
Whatever the causes of bruxism, it’s essential to patients’ oral health that we begin treatment as quickly as possible. Our dentists or hygienists may notice the indicators of bruxism during dental checkups, but we encourage patients to contact us right away if they experience any of the common side effects of teeth grinding listed below:
- Teeth that appear worn or stubby
- Canine teeth with points that are worn down
- Chips, cracks, and breaks in teeth
- Chronic morning headaches
- Jaw or neck pain
Treatment for Bruxism
Treatments for teeth grinding are as varied as the causes of this oral health issue. Once patients have been diagnosed with bruxism, our skilled dentists develop an ongoing treatment plan to repair any damage that occurs, and we work with patients to determine the underlying causes and begin working toward breaking the habit. Patients with bruxism may undergo some combination of the following treatments:
- Oral appliance therapy – custom crafted mouthguards place a barrier between teeth preventing the unconscious damage of nighttime grinding and clenching.
- Behavioral changes – patients whose bruxism stems from stress or a habitual clenching of teeth may need to take steps to reduce stress and consciously make an effort to stop clenching teeth. One helpful method is to place the tongue between front teeth while the jaw is at rest to retrain the jaw to rest without clenching teeth.
- Orthodontic treatment – if misaligned teeth are causing patients to grind and clench, orthodontic treatment may be the best option.