What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a bad habit that can damage the surface enamel of your teeth, leading to an unattractive smile. This behavior is also known as teeth grinding, and you may have this bad habit during the day while you are awake or at night while you are sleeping. There are several reasons why you might grind your teeth, including having poor dental malocclusions that lead to a bad bite. Alternatively, you might grind your teeth when you are feeling a lot of stress. Additional reasons for grinding your teeth include having temporomandibular joint disorder that causes tenderness in one or both of the jaw joints.

Visit a Dentist For Bruxism Treatment

If you have bruxism, then your dentist can help you with the problem so that you won’t have loose, chipped or broken teeth. Not only can a dentist protect your teeth, but also, a dentist can help you overcome jaw clenching that will make your temporomandibular joint disorder worse. First, you need a complete dental examination with medical images to determine if there is an underlying problem such as a jawbone that isn’t growing properly or several misaligned teeth. If you have one of these problems, then wearing a palatal expander, braces or headgear can correct the size of your jaw or the position of your teeth. 


What Are Occlusal Splints?

A dentist can make occlusal splints (night guard) to protect the surfaces of your teeth from the damages of grinding. These durable plastic devices are similar to the aligners that you might need for straightening your teeth. If you have worn a mouth guard for sports, then these devices are also similar, but the items are made in a slightly different way. These dental guards will last for several months or longer, depending on how much you grind your teeth against the devices.


Special Toothpaste and Mouth Rinses

In order to wear occlusal splints, you can use toothpaste or mouth rinses that will reduce salivation. If you need to wear dental guards at night, then you must brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with the specialized products approximately 30 minutes before your bedtime. When you have temporomandibular joint disorder in combination with bruxism, the dental guards should help to cushion your bite so that you don’t suffer from headaches and facial pain each morning.


Several Professionals Can Work Together To Help You Overcome Bruxism

There are also medications available to release the muscle tension in the jaw or to prevent clenching. In addition to medications, a dentist might recommend injections of Botox that will stop you from clenching your teeth at night. A dentist will examine you again in a few months to determine if the bruxism has reduced, and if you are continuing to grind your teeth, then you should consider biofeedback treatment to understand how to cope with stress better. Several professionals, including a dentist, therapist and orthodontist can work together to help you avoid damaging your teeth from the bad habit of bruxism.

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