How Your Dentist Can Help with Bruxism Have you ever woken up in the morning with sore jaw muscles or a headache? Has someone sleeping next to you told you about the horrible grinding sound of your teeth at night? This condition is known as bruxism and this is an unconscious habit that many people suffer knowingly and unknowingly. This can be a temporary problem for some, but for others, this a chronic issue. If left untreated, then this constant grinding can lead to painful or loose teeth, wearing-down of your teeth, and pain or discomfort in your jaw joint (TMJ). With this continued pressure on the teeth, tooth fracture is also quite common.
The first step in treating bruxism is the proper diagnosis. This is where your dentist comes into play and can make an accurate determination of this. Then a proper and customized treatment plan can be made for you. Common methods of treatment for bruxism include fabricating a night guard, stress reduction or adjusting your bite. A night guard is a type of mouth guard you wear at night. It’s different than a sports guard most athletes wear due to the materials that are used and the shape or size. This guard is custom made for your teeth and is usually worn at night or whenever you notice yourself grinding/clenching. This isn’t a cure for bruxism, but it protects your teeth from wearing down and puts less stress on your muscles and joints. The major cause of bruxism is stress. Therefore, by reducing stress in your life can lead to a reduction in bruxism. Some easy ways of doing this are listening to music, reading a book, going for a walk or taking a nice warm bath. Stress counseling may be another route you may want to take for not only the health of your teeth but also for your overall health. Changing the way your teeth fit together may also reduce your level of bruxism. Whenever there is a change in the way you bite, people tend to grind a lot more. This is why young children also grind their teeth frequently because their adult teeth are coming in and their bite is also changing. For children, this is a temporary issue and usually resolves once their teeth position stabilizes. But for adults, changing their bite might be necessary. This can successfully be done by reducing high spots on certain teeth, new fillings, crowns or braces. As always, it’s is best to sit down with your dentist to discuss which option is best for you. If you are looking for a Langley dentist, then give Langley Village Dental a call today!