Bruxism is a common condition that can cause a variety of problems for your oral health. It’s usually characterized by excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching. This behavior may occur while the patient is awake, but it can also occur during sleep.
Patients who are suffering from bruxism are often unaware that they have the condition. This is because the patient usually grinds or clenches their teeth during the night without being aware of it.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
Common signs and symptoms of bruxism include:
- Pain in the jaw
- Teeth grinding
- Morning headaches
- Facial pain
- Neck pain
- Tooth damage
Treatment Options for Bruxism
Treatment for bruxism depends on the severity and frequency of the disorder. In some instances, teeth grinding can be so severe that treatment by a specialist (such as a TMJ dentist) is required.
Oral appliances are worn in the mouth to treat bruxism. There are several types of appliances used to treat this condition.
- Nightguard: A night guard is a removable oral appliance that is worn during sleep. This appliance is worn over the biting surfaces of the teeth. It acts as a cushion between the upper and lower teeth. Also known as a mouthguard, it helps absorb the pressure caused by clenching and grinding. Custom-made mouthguards are better because they can mold to your teeth’s exact shape.
- Bite plate: A bite plate is worn over the biting surfaces of multiple teeth. It is similar to a guard, but it is attached to the teeth with a band or wire.
Orthodontics (teeth alignment)
Orthodontic treatment might offer a solution to teeth grinding and jaw clenching. The bite can be corrected, alleviating tension in the jaw and teeth. This can make bruxism less likely to occur.
There are lifestyle changes that patients can make to help combat teeth grinding.
For example, there are some dietary changes that patients can make. The grinding and clenching can place a lot of strain on the jaw. Eating softer foods can help reduce this strain and prevent grinding. This includes foods like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt.
Patients can also learn relaxation techniques. It can help relieve tension in the jaw.
The dentist and the team are happy to explain the dental treatments offered at the practice in detail. If you would like to learn more, we invite you to give Denist Atlanta GA a call at (404) 255-4575 and schedule a consultation.