Our Bruxism Treatment
Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity that commonly occurs in most people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. These actions usually occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but occasionally they occur during the day.
Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders. Chewing is a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process, but more highly controlled by the brain. During sleep, the subconscious process may become active, while the higher control is inactive (asleep), resulting in bruxism. The most common symptoms are earaches, headaches, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and chronic stress.
Why should I seek treatment for Bruxism?
- Tooth Loss. Bruxism can lead to wearing and weakening of teeth, causing fractures that require extensive repairs or extractions.
- Gum recession. Bruxism is a contributing factor to gum recession. Grinding can damage the soft tissue directly and lead to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria are able to colonize and decay the supporting bone.
- Facial pain. Grinding can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth. This can lead to muscle pain in the myofascial region and in severe cases, incapacitating headaches.
- Arthritis. In the most severe cases, bruxism can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that allow the jaw to open and close smoothly.
Bruxism Treatment Options
Though there is no known cure for bruxism, there are a variety of devices and services to help treat bruxism. The most common is a mouthguard or occlusal guard. An acrylic mouthguard can be designed from teeth impressions to minimize the abrasive grinding action during normal sleep. Mouthguards must be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage.
Our office does not fabricate mouthguards but we will refer you back to your restorative dentist for an evaluation to make one if we suspect it will help.