Bruxism is the sliding of the teeth back and forth over each other (grinding) or clenching and unclenching the teeth. It can occur during the day or night, during sleep or awake, so patients may not even be unaware that they are doing it. Bruxism can lead to periodontal disease and problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and sleep disorders, and damage to the teeth themselves.
Bruxism can be caused or intensified by stress and can lead to significant dental problems if not addressed; additional wear on the teeth and roots and surrounding tissues is often a result of the abnormal, frequent pressure. Our experienced team can make a custom removable appliance to help protect your teeth against wear, breakage, and other effects of bruxism. These appliances are usually worn at night during sleep.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism Include:
- Tooth Movement
- Change in Bite
- Grinding or Clenching Teeth
- Tightness in the Jaw
- Headaches Near the Eye or Jaw Area
- Tooth Sensitivity to Heat, Cold, or Sweets
Treatments Sometimes Used in Conjunction with Oral Appliance Therapy
Hawley Bite Plane – This custom removable appliance can be helpful to relieve headaches and reduce the movement of loose teeth as a result of repeated tooth grinding.
Splinting – This temporary solution can help stabilize loose teeth by securing them to neighboring teeth using a Kevlar material called Ribbond to form a splint.
Medication – Anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxers may provide some relief for tight jaw muscles.