Bruxism Treatment – Grinding of the Teeth

Bruxism Treatment helps to alleviate the habit of grinding or clenching the teeth.

Some people grind their teeth only during sleep; this condition is called “nocturnal bruxism” or “sleep-related bruxism.” Others grind their teeth during the daytime as well, most often during situations that make them feel tense or anxious. People with severe bruxism can fracture dental fillings or cause other types of tooth damage.

Severe bruxism has also been blamed for some cases of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), mysterious morning headaches and unexplained facial pain.

Bruxism can have a variety of psychological and physical causes. In many cases, it has been linked to stress, but it can also simply be the body’s reaction to the teeth being aligned wrong or a poor bite (the way the teeth come together). Bruxism can sometimes occur as a complication of severe brain injury, or a symptom of certain rare neuromuscular diseases involving the face. Bruxism also can be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, including antidepressant medications, including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil).

Bruxism Treatment

Signs of Bruxism

Unless your teeth grinding is noticed by your bed partner (sleep bruxism grinding can cause enough noise to disturb other people’s sleep), chances are good that your dentist will notice the problem before you do. A regular dental exam may reveal signs of:

  • Enamel loss.
  • Flat chewing surfaces.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Fractures in teeth.
  • Broken fillings.
  • Signs of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder in and around the mouth and jaw.

Symptoms bruxers are more likely to notice themselves are headaches, earaches, jaw pain, sore jaw muscles, and “popping” sounds in the jaw (a sign of TMJ damage or an out of balance jaw).

Bruxism Treatment

Picture of worn teeth due to teeth grinding (bruxism). The front teeth would naturally be longer but have been ground down over time. The image also shows a deviated midline or “midline discrepancy”.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Stress, anxiety and anger are the most common causes of jaw clenching in adults, and highly competitive “Type A” personalities are often prone to bruxism and often in need of Bruxism Treatment. Some sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can aggravate the condition, as can alcohol consumption and some medications. Dental problems, including improper alignment of upper and lower teeth, can also lead to clenching and grinding. Our Bruxism Treatment Solutions here at Maycroft are designed around individual presentations.

Bruxism Treatment Options for Teeth Grinding

Bruxism treatment depends on each individual’s situation. Our dentist may recommend one or more treatments for you, such as:

  • Splints.
  • A protective “night guard” worn over the teeth while sleeping.
  • Medication for pain or muscle spasms.
  • Fillings or other dental treatments to repair damaged teeth.
  • Onlays, or Crowns on misaligned teeth.
  • Behaviour Therapy.
  • Alternative Therapies.
  • Counselling, and stress management.
  • Sometimes, drugs such as Botox injections or muscle relaxants are used for severe cases of bruxism.

Bruxism treatment may not always be needed but it should be evaluated by one of our dentists; this is especially the case for children, who may grow out of this condition.

The longer bruxism continues untreated, the more severe the impact on your jaw, which is why it is strongly advised to consult your dentist about TMJ dentistry.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disease is one of the most common causes of bruxism. These joints on either side of the skull collaborate with other bones, muscles, discs, and ligaments to allow you to talk and chew, but some conditions can throw the system off and produce bruxism and other symptoms.

If your bruxism is caused by a joint problem, a TMJ dentist can assist you. These dental professionals strive to alleviate discomfort, avoid long-term tooth damage, and, if feasible, cease grinding and clenching.

A mouthguard is one of the most frequent TMJ treatments for bruxism. These custom-made devices form a barrier between the teeth, minimising the impact of grinding or clenching.

Splints are another therapeutic option that can help protect the teeth from the consequences of grinding or clenching. Some splints are meant to cover only the bottom teeth, whilst others are designed to cover only the top teeth. Some people softly move their jaws into a more relaxed position. The sort of splint prescribed by your TMJ dentist will depend on your specific symptoms, however, most patients find that splints help to minimise clenching, grinding, and discomfort.

Clenching and grinding are frequently induced by stress, and your TMJ dentist may advise you on how to reduce stress and “unlearn” your clenching habits. These behavioural changes, when combined with a splint or mouth guard, can considerably lessen symptoms, allowing you to sleep better at night and wake up with fewer uncomfortable sensations.

Bruxism in Children

How is Bruxism diagnosed in Children?

Many children who grind their teeth are unaware that they do so. Siblings or parents are frequently the first to detect an issue.

Here are some warning indicators to look out for:

  • grinding noises
  • symptoms of a hurting jaw or face after waking up in the morning
  • discomfort with chewing

If you suspect your child grinds their teeth, take them to the dentist, who will examine them for chipped enamel and unusual wear and tear, as well as spray air and water on them to test for sensitivity. A Bruxism Treatment plan may well be recommended.

If the teeth are damaged, the dentist may ask a few questions to determine the source of the grinding, which might be misaligned teeth or stress.

What Is the best Bruxism Treatment for Children who grind their teeth?

Dentists may prescribe a specific night guard if teeth-grinding and clenching cause soreness in a child’s face and jaw or damage to the teeth. The night guard, which is moulded to a child’s teeth, is comparable to the mouthpieces that sportsmen wear to protect their teeth. It may take some getting used to having a nightguard, but it typically improves soon.

How Can Parents Assist?

Whatever the source of bruxism, assist children to relax before night by taking a warm bath or shower, listening to relaxing music, or reading a book.

In the case of bruxism caused by stress, find out what is bothering your child and find a solution to help. For example, a child who is concerned about being away from home for the first time on a camping trip may want reassurance that mom or dad would be close if necessary.

If the problem is more complex, such as relocating to a new place, talk to your child about it and attempt to allay any anxieties. Consult your doctor if you are worried.

In certain circumstances, simple stress relievers are insufficient to halt bruxism. If your child is unable to sleep or behaves abnormally, consult with your dentist or doctor to determine the source of the stress and devise a treatment strategy.

When children lose their baby teeth, they usually outgrow bruxism. In the meantime, frequent dental checkups can aid in the detection and treatment of bruxism.

How Much is Bruxism Treatment?

Costs will vary depending on the type of Bruxism Treatment recommended by our Dentist. You can check our Dental Price Guide here for an idea.