Teeth grinding Diagnosis & treatment (bruxism)
During regulars dental exams, your dentist likely will cross check for signs of bruxism.
If you exhibit any symptoms, your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth over the course of several appointments to determine whether the problem is worsening and whether you need treatment.
Determining the cause
If your dentist suspects you clench or grind your teeth, they will ask you about your general oral health, medications, daily routine, and sleeping patterns.
Now to evaluate the extent's of bruxism, your dentist may have check for:
- Tenderness in your jaw muscles
- Obvious dental abnormalities, such as broken or missing teeth
- Other damage to your teeth, the underlying bone and the inside of your cheeks, usually with the help of X-rays
A dental checkup may detect additional abnormalities such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, other dental problems, or medical conditions that might produce discomfort in the ear or jaw that is similar to that of those symptoms.
If it looks that your bruxism is related to significant sleep issues, your doctor might recommend consulting a sleep medicine specialist. A sleep medicine specialist can conduct additional tests, such as a sleep study, to check for signs of teeth grinding and determine whether you have sleep apnea or other sleep problems.
If your teeth grinding appears to be related to anxiety or other psychological issues, you can be sent to a trained therapist or counselor.
Often, no treatment is necessary. In many cases, bruxism in children outgrows untreated, and many adults do not clench or grind their teeth to the extent that therapy is required. However, if the problem is serious, there are some dental procedures, therapies, and medications available to stop further tooth destruction and reduce jaw pain or discomfort.
Talk with your dentist or doctor to find out which options that may be the best on your Case.
could offer advice on how to keep or improve your teeth if you or your child clenches or grinds their teeth. Even though these techniques might stop or lessen tooth wear, they might not stop bruxism:
- Splints and mouth guards. These are designed to keep teeth separated to avoid the damage caused by clenching and grinding. They can be constructed of hard acrylic or soft materials and fit over your upper or lower teeth.
- Dental correction. In severe cases — when tooth wear has led to sensitivity or the inability to chew properly — your dentist may need to reshape the chewing surfaces of your teeth or use crowns to repair the damage.
One or more of these approaches may help relieve you bruxism:
- Stress or anxiety management. If you grind your teeth because of stress, you may be able to prevent the problem by learning strategies that promote relaxation, such as meditation. If the bruxism is related to anxiety, advice from a licensed therapist or counselor may help.
- Behavior change. Once you discover that you have bruxism, you may be able to change the behavior by practicing proper mouth and jaw position. Ask your dentist to show you the best position for your mouth and jaw.
- Biofeedback. If you're having a hard time changing your habits, you may benefit from biofeedback, a method that uses monitoring procedures and equipment to teach you to control muscle activity in your jaw.
To determine whether medications work well as a general bruxism treatment, more research is needed. Some medications that can be used to treat bruxism include the following:
- Muscle relaxants. In some cases, your doctor may suggest taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime, for a short period of time.
- Botox injections. Injections of Botox, a form of botulinum toxin, may help some people with severe bruxism who don't respond to other treatments.
- Medication for anxiety or stress. Your doctor may recommend short-term use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to help you deal with stress or other emotional issues that may be causing your bruxism.
Treating associated disorders
Treatment for associated disorders may include:
- Medications. If you develop bruxism as a side effect of a drug, your doctor may change your medication or prescribe a different one.
- Sleep-related disorders. Addressing sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea may improve sleep bruxism.
- Medical conditions. If an underlying medical condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is identified as the cause, treating this condition may improve bruxism.
Lifestyle and home remedies
These self-care steps may prevent or help treat bruxism:
- Reduce stress. Listening to music, taking a warm bath or exercising can help you relax and may reduce your risk of developing bruxism.
- Avoid stimulating substances in the evening. Don't drink caffeinated coffee or caffeinated tea after dinner and avoid alcohol during the evening, as they may worsen bruxism.
- Practice good sleep habits. Getting a good night's sleep, which may include treatment for sleep problems, may help reduce bruxism.
- Talk to your sleep partner. If you have a sleeping partner, ask him or her to be aware of any grinding or clicking sounds that you might make while sleeping so you can report this to your dentist or doctor.
- Schedule regular dental exams. Dental exams are the best way to identify bruxism. Your dentist can spot signs of bruxism in your mouth and jaw during regular visits and exams.
Preparing for your appointment
Start by going to your dentist or your family doctor. When you call to make an appointment, you might be told to contact a sleep medicine specialist.
What you can do
Dou Prepare for your appointment by making a list of:
- Relevant medical history, for instance, past bruxism-related problems and information on any medical conditions.
- Any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment. If you experience pain, make a note of when it occurs, such as when you wake up or at the end of the day.
- Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- All medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements, you're taking and the dosages. Let your doctor know about anything you've taken to help you sleep
- Questions to ask your dentist or doctor.
Basic questions to ask your doctor may include:
- What's likely causing my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or long term?
- What's the best treatment?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask questions that maybe confusing during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Be ready to answer your doctor's questions so that you may spend time on the subjects you want to focus on. Your doctor may ask you about issues like:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
Again don't hesitate to ask questions that maybe confusing during your appointment.