Effective Treatment for Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Do you grind or clench your teeth regularly? Maybe you grind your teeth while you sleep or have a habit of clenching your teeth when you are under stress. These habits can cause significant tooth and gum damage over time, but can be managed with a mouthguard. The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism and is considered to be a dental problem. Patients with bruxism are at risk for wearing down the tooth and causing severe misalignment which can have many negative residual effects.
Do you experience any of the following?
- Jaw pain as a result of frequently clenching the teeth
- Chipped or worn down teeth
- Worn down tooth enamel
- Very sensitive teeth
- Tightness in the jaw and neck muscles
- Frequent earaches
- Headaches or migraines
- Pain around the jaw or other facial structure
- Damage to the cheek tissue
Chronic teeth grinding can cause severe damage to the teeth and may even result in losing your teeth! When you are constantly wearing down your teeth by clenching or grinding out of habit, your teeth may end up wearing down into stumps. At this stage, you will need a tooth restoration procedure such as partial dentures, a root canal, bridges, crowns, or dental implants. If you end up losing several teeth, you may need a complete set of dentures or implant-supported dentures to restore your oral health.
Bruxism Treatment Options
We typically recommend a mouthguard as a treatment for bruxism. These are custom-made for the patient and are designed to prevent grinding and clenching the teeth while sleeping. These mouth guards are made of highly-durable plastic materials and act as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth while sleeping. They can be an attractive solution for patients with a history of bruxism and can help to preserve your natural teeth!
Lifestyle changes that can help
Since many people grind or clench their teeth when stressed, making some lifestyle changes can help to ward off the effects of bruxism.
Some of the ways you can break the habit of grinding your teeth include:
- Refraining from chewing hard objects such as pencils or pens
- Avoid chewing gum, because constant chewing can overwork the jaw muscles and make you grind your teeth more frequently
- Massaging the jaw and neck muscles regularly to relieve tension
- Decreasing stress in your life
- Staying hydrated
- Getting enough sleep to reduce stress or anxiety which can trigger teeth grinding