What Is Bruxism?
Most people call bruxism “teeth grinding,” but it includes a wide range of behaviors. Bruxism can involve some or all of the following:
- Tensing of the jaw and mouth
- Gnashing of teeth
- Grinding of teeth
- Clenching of teeth
- Gritting of teeth
- Any of these behaviors during sleep
Most patients who have this condition don’t realize that they do these behaviors. Your teeth grinding can happen a result of factors such as chronic stress or a misaligned bite. Occasional clenching or grinding may not create any issues. However, the effects of chronic bruxism build over time.
Years of gnashing, clenching, and grinding can wear down your teeth, causing you to require major dental treatment. Bruxism symptoms include worn-down teeth, pain, sensitivity, jaw pain, and many other dental problems. Getting treatment for your teeth grinding can help you keep your mouth healthy and address existing issues.
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Teeth Grinding Treatment at AZ Family Dental
At AZ Family Dental, our dentists and hygienists provide expert care while treating you like family. When you visit us for teeth grinding treatment in the greater Phoenix area, one of our dentists will listen to you about your symptoms. If they indicate bruxism, they will discuss your options with you. They may offer one of two kinds of teeth-grinding treatment. The first addresses mild bruxism symptoms, and the second focuses on the source of the condition.
If you have mild to moderate bruxism, your AZ Family Dental dentist may recommend solutions meant to address its symptoms. You may try treatments for relieving sensitivity and tooth pain, such as:
- Massaging your neck, face, and jaw muscles to reduce tenseness
- Relaxing your jaw with a warm, wet washcloth
- Doing jaw-relaxing exercises
In more severe cases of teeth grinding, you and your dentist might try solutions that handle the source of the issue. If your dentist can pinpoint where your teeth grinding comes from, they might suggest these options:
- Teaching yourself to relax your jaw and face during the day
- Stress management
- Establishing a healthy sleep schedule
- Increasing water intake
- Avoiding alcohol or caffeine that can cause you to tense your facial muscles
Many dental professionals will also suggest using a mouth guard. The dentists at AZ Family Dental can design a custom night guard that protects your teeth from grinding during the night.
Custom Night Guards
Your AZ Family Dental dentist can recommend a mouth guard for use during the night. They have a different design and purpose from mouth guards athletes use. If you have night bruxism, you can prevent the resulting damage with one of these guards because it bears most of the stress of grinding and reduces pain and trauma in the mouth and jaw.
Our dentist will measure your mouth and teeth and use those measurements to construct a guard. They will create an impression that replicates your mouth structure and use it as a mold to create your night guard. Your custom guard from AZ Family Dental will work better than one bought over-the-counter because it has a custom form. Talk to one of our dentists if you have braces or another type of dental work — you may have the option to request a special mouth guard.
If you have a risk of night trauma, our dentist may recommend a night guard as a preventative measure. It can keep your mouth safe from bruxism and other stress that could happen in the future. We see these guards as an investment in your teeth and mouth’s well-being.
Bruxism Treatment in Greater Phoenix, AZ From AZ Family Dental
The dentists at AZ Family Dental can help you manage your teeth grinding symptoms. They can offer solutions that protect your teeth, manage your pain, and exercise your jaw. You can also count on our dental professionals for regular checkups, cleanings, and treatments for other conditions. If you need bruxism treatment in the Phoenix metro area, contact AZ Family Dental in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area today.
Frequently Asked Questions for Bruxism Treatment
Dental corrections, medications, and natural approaches are three treatment methods for bruxism. Dental corrections include splints or mouth guards, medication will typically include anxiety medication or added vitamin D, and natural remedies incorporate exercise and de-stressing activities.
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. Usually caused by stress and anxiety, bruxism occurs while sleeping. Bruxism can also be caused by sleep apnea, crooked teeth, missing teeth, or an abnormal bite.
While medical professionals believe stress and anxiety are the main cause of bruxism, vitamin D or calcium deficiencies are also associated with teeth grinding. Adding more of these vitamins and minerals is believed to relieve bruxism.
Medication approaches include muscle relaxants, anxiety medicine, or botox injections. These help the body destress and relax to minimize teeth grinding.
Alongside medications or dental corrections, you can also combat bruxism naturally. Natural approaches include anxiety and stress management, changing your behavior, regular exercise, taking warm baths, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol after dinner.