Bruxism Treatment at Austin Laser Dentist
Clenching or grinding your teeth, either during the day or at night, is a condition known as bruxism. These unintentional actions can lead to tooth damage, like wearing down the surface, cracks, chips, pain, and a misaligned bite. Many people donít know that they have bruxism because they clench or grind their teeth while sleeping. In these cases, the only sign may be damage to the teeth or pain in over-stressed jaw muscles. Dr. Ragsdale can examine your teeth to determine if you may be suffering from bruxism. She will recommend appropriate therapy to stop damage and pain, as well as restorative procedures to correct damaged teeth or a misaligned bite.
Causes of Bruxism
Bruxism frequently occurs as a result of stress or anxiety, and it affects 10 percent of the population. The condition can also be hereditary. Bruxism is often caused by TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition in which the jaw joints are not in proper alignment. On the other hand, constantly clenching and grinding your teeth may lead to the development of TMJ disorder.
Donít let bruxism steal the beauty and comfort of your smile.
Symptoms of BruxismIn some cases, bruxism is mild and patients display no signs of the condition. However, many people experience problems with bruxism, such as:
- Fractured, flattened, or chipped teeth
- Making grinding or clenching sounds while sleeping
- Headaches or migraines
- Tooth sensitivity or pain
- Tightness or pain in the jaw
When Dr. Ragsdale suspects bruxism, she will perform a detailed examination to look for unusual tooth wear, continued damage to restorative work, or signs of fractures in your teeth. After establishing the presence of bruxism, she will recommend the appropriate course of action.
A custom dental appliance, called a sleep guard or night guard, can provide relief from bruxism. The night guard will keep upper and lower teeth from touching while you sleep, thus preventing damage. Therapy may also involve stress reduction activities and behavior modification, like no more gum chewing, to eliminate undue stress on jaw muscles.
Home Care Tips for Bruxism
To relive the symptoms of bruxism, try to:
- Avoi chewing hard substances like ice, candy, and nuts
- Stop chewing gum
- Do not bite your nails, pencils, pens, or objects other than food
- Consume plenty of water each day
- Make adequate sleep a priority
- Massage your neck, face, and shoulder muscles to relieve pain
- Practice stretching exercises that can relax effected muscles
Bruxism in Children
Roughly two out of 10 kids grind or clench their teeth. With children, bruxism usually occurs because of stress, pain from an earache, hyperactivity, or certain medical conditions. In many cases, children outgrow bruxism. If you worry that your child has problems with clenching or grinding, Dr. Ragsdale can complete an assessment and make treatment recommendations.
For a healthy smile, call our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Ragsdale to discuss a night guard or alternative bruxism treatment. With offices in Austin and Round Rock, Austin Laser Dentist serves the greater Austin metropolitan area.