Teeth Grinding Treatment / Bruxism Treatment
Sleep Well and Wake Up Rejuvenated!
Are you bothered by a sore jaw, headaches, or neck and shoulder pain when you wake up? If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism, or teeth grinding. These symptoms often lead to a reduced quality of life, but our Queen Anne dental office has treatment options that can protect your oral health and eliminate symptoms that get in the way of enjoying a full and happy life.
In most cases, Dr. Goel can provide effective relief from the annoying symptoms of bruxism by creating a custom-made night guard. This is an effective solution because it is designed to accommodate your unique dental bite, preventing upper and lower teeth from coming into contact. Since teeth grinding most often occurs during sleep, the night guard can prevent unconscious clenching, eliminating the constant pressure placed on teeth.
Why Is It Important to Stop Teeth Grinding?
Addressing the symptoms of bruxism is essential because it can cause excessive force that may damage and fracture teeth. It also affects the muscles that support healthy jaw function. Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth not only causes painful symptoms but may also contribute to disorders of your TMJ, the Temporal Mandibular Joint.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism, and How to Treat It
In order to properly address the symptoms, Dr. Chiang and Dr. Goel will perform a thorough dental exam to evaluate conditions that may lead to teeth grinding. The following are symptoms of bruxism, or teeth grinding:
- Sensitive teeth
- Aching jaw muscles
- Tooth wear/Tooth fractures
- Excessive wear of dental restorations
- Tenderness in your jaw muscles
- Broken or worn teeth
- Waking up in the morning with headaches or neck pain
The treatment for bruxism usually involves identifying when it occurs. For night time bruxism, we advise that the patient wear a custom fabricated occlusal splint, also known as a “night guard.” Night guards are made of a hard or soft acrylic material. The guard will fit over your top or bottom teeth. In some extreme cases, patients may need to wear their nightguard during the day due to daytime Bruxism. In such a case we would fabricate a thinner, lighter duty nightguard for the patient to wear during the day that doesn’t compromise her ability to speak or eat.
Bruxism has been associated with having a stressful a lifestyle. So practicing proper stress or anxiety management is important. You may try things such as meditation, reading self help books, or consulting a licensed psychotherapist.
Are there any medications you can take? To date, it has not been scientifically proven that medications can successfully treat bruxism. More research needs to be done. However, the following medications have been shown to at least be somewhat beneficial:
Muscle Relaxants: in cases where you are having acute jaw muscle pain, a muscle relaxant can give you immediate short-term relief.
Botox: Botox may help some people reduce their level of bruxism, by freezing the muscles involved
Medication for anxiety/stress: These can help, as bruxism is often associated with a stressful lifestyle.
Depending on the results of this evaluation, we may find that a night guard is all that is needed to eliminate uncomfortable symptoms. If stress seems to be the likely cause, simple stress management approaches like meditation and calming activities like walking or reading a book can have a positive effect and reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
Contact Our Office to Get the Help You Need
You don’t have to spend another day allowing the symptoms of teeth grinding to negatively impact your life. Our convenient extended hours and financing plans make it easy to get the help you need.
We provide personalized care and will take every step necessary to find the solution that protects your oral health and eliminates unnecessary discomfort. Please contact our Queen Anne dental office so you can finally get the help you need.