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HEALTHY

Teeth Grinding and Your Dental Health

Your dentist may notice that you show signs of teeth-grinding, also known as bruxism, during your biannual dental examination. Bruxism involves the clenching of teeth, grinding or gnashing. Many people who have bruxism are unaware of it because they grind their tooth while they sleep. Some people grind their teeth throughout the day to relieve stress.

Consequences for grinding your teeth
You’re not the only one who suffers from bruxism. One in ten people grind their teeth at night! Bruxism can have negative effects, so it’s important to treat it.
Bruxism may cause physical symptoms such as headaches and TMJ syndrome. It can also lead to tooth fractures. It is even more difficult to control if bruxism occurs unconsciously while you sleep.

Treatments for teeth grinding
There is almost always a cause for teeth grinding, whether it’s stress, anxiety or hyperactivity. Certain medications may also be the culprit. To cure teeth grinding, dentists and doctors want to find out what is causing the condition that causes bruxism.
There are treatment plans you can follow to stop your teeth grinding. The treatment plans include the following:

 

  • Nightguards are a type of mouthguard or retainer that protects teeth against the damaging effects of nighttime grinding.
  • Some muscle relaxers may inhibit the grinding of teeth. Your current medications may be examined by a medical professional. Some medications may cause bruxism.
  • If emotional triggers are the cause of bruxism, behavioral therapy can help the patient identify the trigger and learn coping mechanisms.
  • Botox injections into the jaw muscles can also be used. Although this method is not FDA approved, bruxism sufferers have been using it since the 1990s with very few adverse reactions.

Conclusion
Teeth grinding can be physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Your dentist will be able map out the best treatment plan once you have been diagnosed. The treatment plan for each person will vary depending on the cause of the grinding.

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