If you think you might have bruxism then please make an appointment with us. It’s worth making a list of any medications you might be taking, including the dosages. It is also important to detail any symptoms you’re experiencing and the time at which these occur. During your appointment we will want to know about any medical conditions that may effect your bruxism, as all this information will help us make a proper diagnosis. We will then check your mouth for any signs of tenderness in your jaw muscles and any obvious problems with your teeth, which will include those that look broken down or worn or which are poorly aligned. We might need to take dental x-rays to assess the extent of the damage to your teeth and to the underlying bone. Your dental examination will also check for signs of problems with your jaw joints or any other dental problems or an ear infection.
Best Treatment for Bruxism
Sometimes treatment will not be necessary. This might be true for kids who often outgrow bruxism without treatment. Many adults don’t grind or clench badly enough to require any treatment but if the problem is more severe then there are various things we can do.
Correcting Your Bite or Tooth Alignment
Bruxism can develop because teeth are poorly aligned. If you bite down on some teeth before others, extra stress can be put on your jaw joints. Reshaping these tooth surfaces so your teeth bite together more evenly can be enough to correct bruxism. This is called a bite adjustment or occlusal adjustment. This is most often done by your general dentist.
Mouth Splints or Mouthguards
Using a mouth splint or mouthguard can be incredibly useful in treating and correcting bruxism. These dental appliances work by preventing the teeth from coming into contact with each other, instead only contacting the night guard. Separating the teeth will not only avoid the damage to the teeth caused by clenching and grinding but also relieve the tension and stress on the muscles causing them to relax. Each mouthguard or mouth splint is individually designed to fit over the upper teeth and is made from hard acrylic materials. The mouthguard is worn overnight and some people may any need to use this appliance for a short while others will have to be prepared to use it on a longer-term basis.