Treatment of Bruxism
Bruxism is extreme clenching or grinding of the teeth, which can occur in both adults and children, during sleep or whilst awake. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to permanent damage of the teeth and jaw joints.
Bruxism can be caused by:
- Physical stress such as nutritional deficiencies, illness, and dehydration
- Anxiety, tension, and psychological stress
- Abnormal anatomy of the teeth or jaws.
The signs and symptoms vary for each patient and are affected by the duration, frequency, and strength of bruxism behaviours.
Common signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain and sensitivity of the teeth
- Facial and jaw pain
- Grinding sound (often noticed by sleeping partner) when teeth are ground together
- Worn tooth surfaces
- Damaged tooth enamel
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Loose teeth
Correct treatment for Bruxism includes an accurate diagnosis on the basis of:
- Location of stiffness or pain
- Range of movement in jaw
- Noticeable noise in the jaw joint
- Tooth wear, and movement of your jaw and your bite.
Your dentist may also:
- Check if your bite is correctly balanced by taking moulds of your teeth
- Take x-rays
- Ask you to complete a questionnaire to assess how symptoms affect your quality of life.
With our new digital scanner we are able to scan your teeth over a period of six months, and by using the latest software we can then determine if there has been any changes to the teeth due to grinding. By using the same scan we will commission our local dental lab to construct a dental digital splint.
The treatment of bruxism can be multifaceted and may include:
- Obtaining your medical and dental history including allergies, previous treatments, psychological stress/illness, and a list of all medications you’ve taken (both prescribed and over the counter)
- Removing the causes of bruxism
- Changing behaviour that may result in bruxism
- Repairing any damage caused by bruxism behaviours
- Prescription of painkillers for facial and jaw joint pain
- Prescription of muscle relaxant medication to help relax the jaw muscles.
The aim of bruxism therapy is to teach the patient how to best relax the mouth, and may involve:
- An occlusal splint (or night guard) which is made of hard moulded plastic, is worn at night, and prevents the patient from causing further wear to their teeth surfaces
- Use of muscle relaxant medication at night.
Dental treatment such as fillings, crowns and inlays may be necessary to repair damage to teeth surfaces. Orthodontics can be a good option for some, to correct poor bite and realign teeth to their correct position. Your dentist will be able to determine which treatment method is best for you and if any dental treatment is required to fix damaged teeth.
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