Patients who suffer from bruxism, or teeth clenching, can rely on Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry for the highest quality care. Patients with Bruxism grind or clench their teeth, often at night while they sleep. Left untreated, bruxism may lead to damage of the teeth and jaw.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bruxism
What treatment for bruxism is recommended by Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry?
In some cases, treatment is not required for bruxism. Patients can practice holding their tongues in an upward position while keeping the teeth apart, and lips closed. Children who suffer from bruxism often outgrow the condition. Adults may learn to manage their stress levels in healthier ways.
For patients who require treatment, the dentist may recommend a night guard or splint. Night guards are similar to the mouth guards that are used by athletes to protect their teeth, and are soft plastic forms that serve as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. Splints are similar to night guards but are made from hard acrylic.
Other treatments for bruxism include dental procedures, such as braces or Invisalign aligners, to straighten the misaligned teeth. Patients who wear down their teeth as a result of bruxism may need crowns or overlays to restore the damaged teeth.
What causes bruxism in some patients?
One of the most common causes of bruxism in patients is stress. People often carry stress in their bodies, and patients with bruxism respond to stress and anxiety by clenching their teeth. Other causes of bruxism include an unstable TMJ, sleep disorders or airway problems, drug and alcohol uses, poor alignment between the upper and lower teeth, and some medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. In rare cases, side effects from other medications cause patients to grind or clench their teeth.
How do patients know if they suffer from Bruxism?
Bruxism often wears down the teeth, causing them to be flat, cracked, or chipped. Patients may experience fatigue or pain in their jaws. Typically, the teeth become sensitive to cold and heat. Earaches and headaches are other possible sings of bruxism. During the routine dental exam, the dentist assesses the patient for signs of bruxism.