You’ve identified your symptoms and done the research; maybe you’ve even had a conversation with the dentist. All you know is that you have bruxism and you’re ready to do something about the pain and the restless nights.
To treat bruxism takes more than a dentist visit or a mouthguard. You should work on resolving the root cause of your clenching. Doctor’s don’t know the exact cause of bruxism but many possible physical and psychological causes include:
- Emotions (stress, anxiety, or frustration)
- Abnormal alignment of teeth
- Sleep apnea
- A coping strategy or focusing habit
- Inability to relax
- Response to pain from an earache or teething (in children)
So, when considering the treatment plan, it is important to research all the options...
Night grinding guards/splints are designed to be a barrier and protect your teeth when you grind. It’s important to choose a guard that is comfortable, provides enough protection and lets you get a full night’s rest. Mouthguards treat the symptoms of bruxism. They are in no means a cure and you should seek treatment for the root cause of your pain.
If your bruxism is due to a misalignment of your teeth, your dentist may offer a solution to correct the alignment. In many cases when the wear of the teeth causes sensitivity, the dentist may need to put on a crown or reshape the surfaces of your teeth. In rare case, they may suggest braces or oral surgery.
For many people teeth grinding and clenching is stress induced. Getting the stress under control is a way to treat your bruxism from the root cause:
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Talk to a counselor
- Try meditation
- Indulge in essential oils
These are all just a few examples of way to keep relaxation to a maximum and stress to a minimum. Look into what makes you the relaxed and calm.
Bruxism occurs most often during light sleep. Make sure nothing gets in the way of you and a good night rest so you can get into a deep sleep without interruptions. Avoid caffeinated beverages before sleeping, look into progressive relaxation, eat right…..there’s many resources out there with countless tips that will help you fall asleep. Try several and see which is best for you.
Biofeedback uses monitoring procedures and equipment to help your jaw “re-learn” proper jaw placement/muscle memory. Through auditory and visual tools, it is thought that you can train away unwanted muscle movements.
Talk with your dental professional or primary care provider to see if a medication to aid in relaxation is the right treatment option for you.
It’s important to remember that in some cases there is no need for treatment. Some people, especially children, often outgrow their bruxism. Talk to your dentist about what options are suitable for your specific case of bruxism.
If you’ve been diagnosed with bruxism, or night grinding, chances are your dentist has recommended a custom fit night guard for you. Dentist made night guards can come with a hefty price tag, costing up to $800. While expensive guards are a big deterrent for many people, it's no reason to leave your bruxism untreated. Here [...]
At some point in their lifetime, most people will find themselves grinding their teeth from time to time. While occasional grinding doesn’t usually cause much damage, persistent and untreated clenching can lead to costly dental damage. In some cases, bruxism can result in a wearing down of enamel, tooth wear, sensitivity, receding gum line or [...]
One of unique features of the SOVA guard is it's ability to be fitted with braces. But, STOP RIGHT THERE. Put down the mouthguard and step away from the hot water. Now go back and carefully re-read the instructions, or, follow our recommendation and get your guard fitted by the orthodontist.You are a [...]
I used to be so afraid of going to the dentist that I put off going for a couple years. It wasn’t until my gums were inflamed and causing me pain that I actually went to go see the dentist. I am not alone. In fact, an estimated 75% of Americans experience fear or anxiety when [...]
Whatever your excuse, try to overcome it. Let’s face it, wearing a night grinding guard is not the sexiest look, but the decision is more complex than that. Here is what night grinding can do to your teeth.Bruxism is the medical term that refers to the forceful grinding and clenching of your teeth. This could [...]
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is often be overlooked, but you use it everyday to open and close your mouth. The TMJ's connect your skull to your jaw bone and can be felt in the front of each ear. When something goes wrong in your jaw muscles and joints it can cause pain, clicking noises, and [...]
My dentist once told me, "Your goal should be to die with your own teeth." I thought that would be a pretty easy goal until I found out that 25% of Americans over the age of 65 have lost all of their permanent teeth. There's many every day habits that reduce the life expectancy of our [...]
For the little crises our children face –scraped knees, growing pains, the common cold, we instinctively know the solutions. We have endless bowls of chicken noodle soup to cure a case of the sniffles. But when it comes to the 36.8% of preschoolers who reported grinding their teeth, there seems to be a lack of [...]