Bruxism is a medical condition that involves teeth grinding. Most patients with bruxism experience dental complications, including jaw pain. Patients with bruxism may also grind their teeth while sleeping. Bruxism & mouthguards Houston go hand in hand in preventing severities like loose teeth that can lead to teeth loss.
What is bruxism (teeth grinding)?
Clenching and grinding the teeth can occasionally occur without causing major damage. However, patients with bruxism regularly grind their teeth. Teeth grinding harms jaw muscles, teeth, and temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
What are the types of bruxism?
There are different types of teeth grinding. Your doctor will perform appropriate diagnostic tests to accurately determine your type of bruxism and develop the best treatment to eliminate complications. Teeth grinding action is the same. However, patients may grind their teeth while awake or during sleep. The following are the two types of bruxism:
- Awake bruxism
Grinding your teeth during the day is awake bruxism. The most common causes of this condition have an emotional basis. Most patients with this condition perform the destructive habit due to underlying anxiety, stress, and anger. Focusing on a specific task can also trigger teeth grinding. Most patients with awake bruxism do not need treatment, especially if they can notice the habit and stop. However, clinicians recommend stress management to reduce the frequency of teeth grinding and thus minimize its effects.
- Sleep bruxism
This type of bruxism is the most dangerous because it involves grinding teeth while unconscious, which may be harder to notice and stop. Moreover, grinding your teeth during sleep causes delayed diagnosis because you might not be aware of this habit and thus fail to seek urgent care.
Why is teeth grinding harmful?
There are various health complications associated with teeth grinding. For example:
- Altered facial profile
- Loose teeth
- Teeth fractures
- Damage to jaw muscles and TMJs
- Tooth loss
- Wearing down of teeth.
How do doctors diagnose bruxism?
An accurate bruxism diagnosis ensures the recommendation of appropriate treatment. Moreover, an early diagnosis prevents adversities associated with bruxism. Diagnostic procedures for bruxism involve examining your TMJs, jaw muscles, and teeth to detect signs of grinding. Although a physical exam may be enough to accurately diagnose the type and severity of your bruxism, your doctor may also recommend an additional test involving a sleep study called polysomnography. If you notice your teeth clenching habit, seek professional intervention for a definitive diagnosis to ensure you receive appropriate treatment to protect your teeth.
Effective management and treatment for bruxism
The best treatment for teeth clenching is wearing a mouth guard. Your doctor will customize these appliances to ensure a snug fit. You will need to wear your mouth guard at night while you sleep. These appliances protect your teeth, muscles, and TMJs against grinding forces. You may also need a muscle relaxant, which your doctor will prescribe for you to take before you go to bed, to reduce clenching.
Contact The Dentists at North Cypress if you suspect you have teeth-grinding habits to receive appropriate treatment to protect your teeth.