bruxism treatment options
The first step in treating bruxism involves meeting with one of our compassionate and experienced Denver dentists.
At your consultation, your dentist will review your symptoms and perform a full examination of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. The exam includes diagnostic testing with advanced technology that allows for the most precise diagnoses. This allows your dentist to make recommendations regarding the best treatment solution for your needs.
Patients who suffer from stress and anxiety may benefit from making certain lifestyle adjustments, such as:
Reducing caffeine intake.
Bruxism patients should eliminate caffeine or restrict it to one beverage per day. You should also make it a point to not consume caffeine during the latter part of the day. For patients with anxiety, limiting caffeine can also help to reduce anxious feelings or stress.
Eating a healthy, nutritional diet.
Avoiding high-sugar or carbohydrate-heavy foods in the evening can help you achieve more restful sleep.
Not only can exercise help you sleep more soundly, but it also releases endorphins to help you achieve more healthy stress levels.
Getting more sleep.
Adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Avoiding gum. Chewing gum can overwork and strain jaw muscles. If you already suffer from bruxism, give your jaw a rest in between meals by avoiding mindless chewing.
Implementing yoga or meditation practices.
If stress is fueling your bruxism habits, implementing more mindfulness before bedtime can help clear the mind before sleep. By eliminating some stress before bedtime, you can improve your body’s ability to relax fully during sleep.
Taking anti-anxiety medications or supplements.
There are some over-the-counter supplements that can help with stress and anxiety. However, if you suffer from high levels of anxiety or stress which make it difficult to cope with daily life, you may need help from a professional. This may include seeing a counselor for therapy to help improve your quality of life. In more severe cases, patients may need prescription anti-anxiety medication.
Teeth in the back of the jaw (molars) are most susceptible to damage during grinding. For teeth that have been cracked or chipped due to grinding and clenching, restorative dentistry may be needed. This could include a dental crown or dental bonding to strengthen and protect them from further damage.
A custom-made dental mouth guard may also be recommended. If severe bruxism is not prevented through an oral appliance, the force can crack, damage, or wear down teeth and restorative work. Mouthguards fit comfortably over your top and bottom teeth to prevent teeth from grinding during the night while you sleep.
If a bite disorder is the cause of your bruxism, the dentist may first recommend orthodontics to straighten your jaw. Depending on your circumstances, this could include Invisalign® or traditional braces.
For patients with a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, additional treatment measures may be needed. Some patients benefit from an oral appliance, which helps maintain an open airway while sleeping. Some patients, however, may need a referral to a certified sleep physician.