Treatment for Bruxism
Bruxism is a common condition in young children and adults that causes you to clench or grind your teeth (to brux). Often it is done unconsciously and the sufferer or "Bruxer" may not be aware that they have the condition.
Bruxism can happen during the day or at nighttime during sleep. Sleep bruxism is often associated with other sleep disorders, for example snoring and sleep apnea.
Bruxism may not have to be treated unless it becomes frequent and severe when it can lead to headaches, jaw disorders and damage to teeth.
Acute or severe bruxism can lead to wearing down and flattening of the surfaces of the teeth and gum recession. It can also cause jaw disorders.
People with bruxism often are not aware that they have the condition until problems develop.
The Symptoms or Signs of Bruxism:
- Grinding or clenching of teething
- Damaged teeth; Worn down, flattened, chipped, loose teeth
- Gum recession
- Damage to inside of mouth/cheeks
- Indentations on the tongue
- Sensitivity in the teeth
- Pain in the ears, jaw or face
- A clicking sound when moving jaw/Temporomandibular joints (TMJs)
- Headaches in the temples
- Noise from grinding or clenching during sleep
The Causes of Bruxism
The factors that can lead to bruxism can be physical and psychological including:
- Stress, anger, anxiety
- Personality types such as aggressive, competitive or hyperactive
- Bite problems or abnormal alignment of the teeth
- Acids from the stomach reaching the throat
- Side effects of some medications/drugs or diseases
If you have any of the above symptoms, contact us for advice. Regular check ups/exams at the dentist every six months are the most effective way to identify bruxism. As experienced dentists we can easily identify the signs of bruxism in a patient´s mouth.
Often treatment is not necessary as children outgrow the condition and many adult Bruxers only have it as a mild condition and do not cause themselves damage. However, for people with acute or severe bruxism, treatments can include:
Dental Treatments: Your dentist may recommend use of a mouthguard or splint to protect your teeth from the damage that can be caused by bruxism. The mouthguard or splint will prevent damage to your teeth but will not cure the bruxism. They are usually worn at nighttime during sleep and come custom made of acrylic and fit the upper or lower teeth. They will also help prevent damage to any restorations in the mouth such as veneers. Other dental treatments can include braces, or oral rehabilitation and surgery
Therapies: Such as Stress Management, Behaviour Therapy and Biofeedback
Medication: Such as Muscle Relaxants and Botox injections
Lifestyle and Homeopathic Remedies: to help reduce stress, and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol in the evenings