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Bruxism management in general dentistry

Posted on 7/4/2022 by Dick Hikade, DDS
Bruxism management in general dentistryBruxism, also referred to as teeth grinding, is a dental condition or illness characterized by involuntary clenching, grinding, or gnashing during sleep or wakefulness. Bruxism is a known cause of attrition in teeth, causing jaw pain and stiffness, ear and teeth pain, headaches, tooth sensitivity, cracking or chipping teeth, and tooth loss in extreme cases. Bruxism is most detrimental during sleep as one is likely to be aware they are gnashing their teeth during the day and stop.

Treatment of bruxism

Your dentist will most likely notice the disease during your regular dental checkups and make a diagnosis depending on the severity of the condition. The dentist then evaluates the teeth over a few more appointments to check for disease progression. The cause has to be determined to ensure a precise treatment plan. The dentist may examine your teeth and jaw using digital imaging techniques to reveal the extent of the disease.

To treat the condition, a dentist will recommend dental appliances like mouth guards at night and splints to keep the teeth separate during the night to prevent damage to the teeth. A dentist may also recommend a dental correction procedure where the teeth are filed down and reshaped and crowns possibly fit them to improve symmetry. Medications to relax the muscles during sleep also minimize clenching during the night.

Since bruxism may be psychologically induced, stress therapies and certain behavior changes help lessen the effects of bruxism. Stress management strategies like meditation enable one to relax better, reducing the risk of teeth grinding. It is important to change old jaw and mouth positions to avoid setting yourself up for teeth clenching. Botox injections are also recommended to ease the effects of bruxism, especially for unresponsive patients to other bruxism treatment options. Your dentist, however, will advise on the best treatment plan to ease your condition.

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Dick Hikade, DDS at Sunnyside Dentistry has created this informative blog to help educate the community about dental concerns.
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