Bruxism Treatment for Independence, Blue Springs & Lee’s Summit MO
Bruxism is the dental term associated with teeth grinding. It can affect patients of any age, even children, and it can sometimes be hard to determine what causes the issue. Bruxism can result in excessive jaw joint wear and cause various other medical problems.
Teeth grinding is a dental concern that affects people as they sleep. The good news is that bruxism treatment is available for patients in Independence, Blue Springs & Lee's Summit, MO, from Dental Excellence.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a term that refers to the clenching of upper and lower teeth during sleep. Estimates show that such teeth grinding affects 6% to 50% of children, 15% of adolescents, and 8% of middle-aged adults.
Studies show that bruxism or teeth grinding is less prevalent in older patients, with just 3% of those people experiencing it.
Patients with bruxism experience it during their sleep, and so it can be challenging for dentists and other medical professionals to identify the issue. If you believe you are experiencing it, you should ensure that you get the right treatment for your teeth grinding.
Also, patients who experience teeth grinding may not realize that the strength of their jaws means they could be applying up to 250 pounds of force onto their teeth and jaw joints. As you can imagine, that’s quite a lot of pressure to put on your teeth.
It’s worth noting that patients who experience teeth grinding don’t do so throughout the night. Instead, it occurs in episodes, particularly during stages 1 and 2 of non-REM sleep. If left untreated, bruxism can cause permanent teeth damage, such as erosion.
What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
Often, patients that experience teeth grinding don’t even know they do so at night - and that’s what makes it so challenging to identify. Of course, some tell-tale signs can point to a diagnosis of bruxism. They are as follows:
Noisy Teeth Grinding During Sleep
Your spouse, partner, or even a roommate might complain that you make loud grinding noises from your teeth at night.
You Experience Dental Sensitivity
The constant grinding of your teeth means your teeth flatten or even fracture, resulting in dental sensitivity and pain when you eat or drink.
Your Face Feels Painful
If your face feels painful, that’s because your facial and jaw muscles feel tired due to the constant teeth grinding at night.
You Have Headaches or Earaches
Patients who experience bruxism have headaches that stem from their temples and aren’t due to ear infections.
You Have Unexplained Oral Lacerations
Lastly, indentations on your tongue or bite marks inside your cheeks can be another sign of bruxism.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
One of the biggest questions people with a potential bruxism diagnosis have is, what causes their teeth to grind? Another challenge with bruxism is that the causes can be difficult to underline.
Research is still ongoing regarding the causes of teeth grinding. That’s because there aren’t any specific reasons linked to all cases of bruxism. What we do know is patients can generally connect teeth grinding to the following factors:
Bruxism can be a side effect of certain medications, such as anti-depressants with SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).
Mental Health Issues
Anxiety, stress, and depression are mental health conditions that can cause patients to experience teeth grinding.
Diet and Lifestyle
Did you know that heavy coffee or alcohol consumption each day can cause bruxism? Other dietary and lifestyle factors include recreational drugs and smoking.
Some patients that have a hyperactive personality or are of an anxious disposition can also experience teeth grinding.
One final significant cause of bruxism is sleeping disorders. It’s not uncommon for patients with obstructive sleep apnea to experience teeth grinding.
How Can I Treat Bruxism?
The good news is that bruxism treatment options are available for patients who experience teeth grinding while they sleep at night. They generally fall into three categories:
If the cause of your bruxism is due to mental health issues like stress and anxiety, you may find relief from your symptoms with stress management and relaxation techniques. Examples include meditation, yoga, and even regular exercise.
Other patients may find relief from the symptoms of bruxism by taking a particular medication. For instance, Botox injections and muscle relaxants help relax jaw muscles.
Finally, dental appliances - nightguards - prescribed by Dental Excellence can help ease bruxism symptoms. Several different types of nightguards exist, and the team at Dental Excellence will help you select the right one for your needs.
For example, you could use stock nightguards - a generic option available from pharmacies. Another option is “boil and bite” nightguards that use thermoplastics which you shape around your teeth.
However, the most innovative nightguard solutions are custom mouth protectors. With this example, the Dental Excellence team will make a mold of your teeth, and a laboratory creates a custom mouth protector based on that mold.
They are generally the most recommended option for patients seeking a simple yet effective bruxism treatment. Plus, the result is a long-lasting solution that is also comfortable to use at night.
Am I a Candidate for Bruxism Treatment?
You could be a candidate for bruxism treatment if you experience some of the symptoms associated with teeth grinding at night. You may also be a good candidate if a diagnosis of bruxism got confirmed after participating in an overnight polysomnography sleep study.
Both adults and children are ideal candidates for bruxism treatment, particularly those patients that wish to seek immediate relief from their symptoms.
If you would like to discuss your teeth grinding symptoms and get a diagnosis for bruxism, the next step is to schedule an appointment with Dental Excellence. We serve patients in and around the Independence, Blue Springs & Lee's Summit areas in Missouri.
Make an Appointment