effective bruxism treatment for a healthier smile
Bruxism is a clinical term used to described teeth grinding and jaw clenching. This typically occurs involuntarily during the night while sleeping and can be related to stress, bite disorders, and sleep apnea. It can develop into more serious oral health issues, such as tooth fractures, decay, and TMJ disorder. Our dentists at Metropolitan Dental Care in Denver and Lone Tree, CO are equipped to provide the necessary bruxism treatment, including custom mouth guards to improve your smile.
what are the side effects?
It is estimated that about 30 to 40 million people deal with bruxism, making it a rather common condition. That averages out to one out of every three people who struggle with some form of this disorder. Bruxism can cause minor annoyances, such as interrupted sleep, or range in severity, requiring restorative treatment and periodontal care.
Side effects of bruxism can include:
- Jaw pain
- Facial swelling and tenderness
- Tooth pain
- Loose teeth resulting in dental misalignment or tooth loss
- Fractured teeth
- Damaged fillings
- Frequent headaches
- Gum tenderness and oral irritation
- Gum recession
- TMJ disorder
- Tight jaw muscles, making it difficult to open/close mouth
common causes of bruxism
This oral health condition is often used unknowingly as a coping mechanism for people during moments of extreme stress and anxiety. Although bruxism often occurs in the middle of the night, it can also happen during traffic, an intense time at work, or simply from sadness and depression. It has been linked to malocclusion (improper bite alignment), facial nerve and muscle diseases, as well a negative side effect of hyperactivity in children.
While children generally outgrow bruxism, adults who are facing this issue need to seek immediate attention before the condition develops into something more serious and results in costly restorative treatment.
bruxism treatment options
The first step in treating bruxism involves meeting with one of our compassionate and experienced dentists. At your consultation, he or she will review your symptoms and perform a full examination of your teeth, gums, and jawbone using advanced technology. This will allow them to recommend 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
- Getting more sleep
- Avoiding gum
- Avoiding alcohol
- Implementing yoga or meditation
- Taking anti-anxiety medications
Teeth in the back of the jaw (molars) are most susceptible to damage during grinding. When teeth have been cracked or chipped, the dentist can protect and strengthen them with dental crowns. In addition, a custom-made mouth guard may also be recommended. This oral appliance fits 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 will first recommend orthodontics to straighten your jaw. This treatment addresses the root of the issue and preserves the longevity of your oral health.
If bruxism is having an adverse effect you on or your child, we strongly encourage you to seek treatment immediately with one of our skilled dentists at Metropolitan Dental Care in either downtown Denver of Lone Tree. You can contact us online or give us a call at (303) 534-2626.