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Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

What is bruxism?

Bruxism refers to the grinding or clenching of teeth which can lead to chipping, wear, and other damage. Many people suffer from bruxism without even knowing it. In the United States, an estimated 30 to 40 million children and adults grind their teeth.

Signs and Symptoms

Some patients suffer from “nocturnal bruxism” meaning they only clench or grind their teeth at night or when asleep. Bruxism may cause:

  • Damage to teeth and fillings
  • Facial pain and jaw pain
  • Jaw dysfunction
  • Headaches
  • Tooth pain
  • Feeling of teeth being misaligned
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty chewing
  • A popping sound when the jaw is opened or closed

Diagnosis

At Center for Dental Restorations, Dr. Pamela MacPherson uses her years of experience as a certified prosthodontist to examine teeth and determine whether a patient suffers from bruxism. If so, we create a tailored treatment plan that offers relief of pain and can help reverse the habit of teeth grinding to ensure no further damage occurs. Years of advanced education and her continuing knowledge of the best techniques and technologies allow Dr. Mac to restore any dental health or cosmetic dentistry damage that occurs as a result of teeth grinding. This gives you a more comfortable, confident smile to last for years and can cure chewing, speaking, and other difficulties that result from bruxism.

Treatment

Because the exact cause and method of teeth grinding differs by patient, we use customized solutions to help you achieve better comfort and oral health. Some common factors that contribute to bruxism include:

  • >Stress – Stress can cause us to grind or clench our teeth. Counseling, psychotherapy, biofeedback exercises, and other methods help you relax, which allows the jaw to unclench. Medicines such as diazepam (Valium) and other doctor-approved prescriptions can provide short term relief by relaxing the muscles of the mouth.
  • Medicines – While some medicines help to reverse teeth grinding, others can cause it. Bruxism may result as a side effect of antidepressants in which case you may consult with your doctor about alternatives.
  • Dental problems ­– Misalignment may be corrected for relief of clenching and grinding. Onlays and crowns can assist in reshaping your teeth’s biting surfaces. Mouth guards and splits prevent you from grinding at night and help guard against further damage.