What Is Bruxism and Can My Dentist Treat It?


Bruxism is the unwanted grinding of teeth. While it seems like a relatively minor problem, it can impact a person’s quality of life considerably. While some people suffer no symptoms related to teeth grinding, others experience considerable tooth pain, jaw pain, and headaches. In this article, we’ll discuss bruxism and how it is treated by dentists.

Understanding Bruxism

Teeth grinding is not a disease but an unwanted behavior like self-cutting or excoriation disorder where a person will incessantly pick at sores making them worse and worse. For that reason, the treatment of bruxism generally involves the treatment of underlying disorders like anxiety disorder, situational anxiety, and stress. Dentists can’t treat anxiety and stress, but what they can do is create a mouthguard that is perfectly fitted to your mouth that prevents excessive grinding and severely reduces the damage that the grinding does.

Problems Caused by Bruxism

The biggest problem related to bruxism is TMJ-disorders. The temporomandibular joint hitches your lower jaw to your head. When it’s misaligned, it can cause severe tooth pain, jaw pain, earaches, cracked tooth syndrome, headaches, tinnitus, and more.

Further bruxism can severely damage the gums due to the pressure being placed on the teeth on a nightly basis. This can exacerbate already-existing problems quickening the pace of decay. Teeth grinding will loosen the teeth in your sockets making them more prone to falling out. This quickens the pace of gum disease resulting in global mouth problems that can affect not only all of your teeth but your overall health as well.

Treatments for Bruxism

Treatments for bruxism come in two forms. There is treatment from your dentist and treatment to manage the underlying psychological symptoms that may be causing your excessive teeth grinding. Your dentist will measure your mouth and create a custom mouthpiece for you to wear at night while you’re sleeping. The mouthpiece can reduce the damage the grinding causes to your teeth and prevent advanced gum disease, tooth damage, and other health issues.

The other part of the treatment involves managing the stress that may lead to excessive teeth grinding. Often, it is an unwanted nervous habit that can have major unwanted consequences. For that reason, it is treated like an unwanted behavior similar to cutting or excoriating, though perhaps not as severe. Mental health professionals use a combination of stress-reduction and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients identified negative emotions and develop alternate habits to manage them that aren’t so destructive to their health.

Bruxism may also be related to sleep anxiety or difficulty sleeping. In these cases, the sleep disorder may be treated alongside correcting the behavior to improve the patient’s overall quality of life.

Learn More about Bruxism Treatment in Cottonwood

If you’re experiencing jaw pain, tinnitus, tooth pain, and headaches, chances are, you have a TMJ disorder. These are often related to bruxism and can be treated with a combination of aids, such as mouthguards, and therapeutic stress reduction. If you’re suffering from these symptoms, call Peak Family Dental Care in Cottonwood today and request an appointment.

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