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What Is Bruxism And How Can A Dentist Help?

Posted on 10/24/2022 by Dr. Anthony Hoffman
What Is Bruxism And How Can A Dentist Help?Bruxism refers to unconsciously grinding, clenching, or gnashing teeth. It mostly happens when asleep, but it can also occur while awake. The majority of people experiencing teeth grinding or jaw clenching do it while asleep, as such it is hard to identify the condition before complications develop.

Signs of Bruxism

The best way to detect the signs and symptoms associated with bruxism is to go for routine dental exams. A dentist is able to notice these and catch any damages early on before they worsen. A patient with bruxism may have worn down tooth enamel that exposes the deeper tooth layers like dentin. A patient may also have loose, chipped, flattened, or fractured teeth.

Other symptoms are soreness or pain within the face, neck, and jaw. Dull persistent headache originating in the temples is also a symptom. A locked jaw and tight jaw muscles are other symptoms. Earache-type pain that occurs without problems with the ears can also be a symptom. Bruxism is also likely to produce a grinding noise that is so audible that others can hear it.

How a Dentist Can Help?

A majority of kids tend to outgrow their bruxism. Many adults also don't experience severe cases of bruxism to need treatment. For those needing treatment, it is often based on the cause and symptoms. If stress and anxiety are causing bruxism, reducing these psychological feelings and emotions can relieve bruxism. Making changes such as developing good sleep habits and avoiding stimulants like coffee during the evening can also help with self-care for bruxism. Relaxation techniques can also help.

A dentist can also suggest ways to preserve the teeth and combat additional damage. Mouthguards and splints can help separate the teeth while asleep. Grinding mouthguards help protect the teeth as well as the jaw joint and the associated muscles from experiencing constant pressure due to grinding or clenching. A dental office can custom-make night mouthguards so that you wear them when going to sleep. Talk to us to learn more about bruxism and the treatment options available.

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