How to Deal with Teeth Grinding

Whether you have dental implants, dentures, All-on-4 implants, or a natural set, teeth grinding is a common condition that affects 30 to 40 million adults and children in the United States. Medically known as bruxism, teeth grinding can leave you with sore teeth and gums, swelling in the lower jaw, and ultimately long-term pain your face.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

For most, bruxism happens during sleep, but it can also occur when concentrating intensely on a task such as lifting heavy objects, reading, or driving. During these activities, sufferers clench and grind their teeth rhythmically for long periods of time, causing soreness and, more commonly, headaches.

In extreme cases, bruxism can lead to broken or cracked teeth, damaged dental implants, broken dentures, enlargement of the facial muscles, neck and shoulder pain, and sleep disorders.

Causes of Bruxism

Bruxism can develop at any time, but the actual causes are not clear. We believe there are many factors associated with bruxism such as stress, anxiety, heavy alcohol consumption, caffeine, and sleep disorders.

According to the Bruxism Association, teeth grinding occurs most commonly during sleep to those in the 25 to 44 age group, but all adults should be aware of the damage it can cause to your dentures and dental implants, too.

Treating Teeth Grinding

Many methods have been proposed over the years, but the only proven treatments have been occlusal splints, mandibular advancement devices, and behavioral management.

Occlusal Splints

Occlusal splints are plastic mouthguards that can be immediately used to protect the teeth and jaw. They have been proven to prevent tooth damage, reduce noise, and soften the effects on the jaw from tooth grinding. This is especially helpful to those with dental implants, All-on-4 implants, or dentures.

Mandibular Advancement Devices

A mandibular advancement device (MAD) is a custom-made fitting for your upper and lower jaw that is worn while sleeping. It is most often used to move the lower jawbone forward. In the past, MADs were typically used to treat heavy snoring and sleep apnea, but research has shown they also help with treating sleep bruxism.

Behavioral Management

Recent progressive studies done by psychoanalysts have shown outstanding results for treating bruxism. Using meditation or hypnosis has shown promising long-term success; however, these methods are still being researched.

Putting an end to teeth grinding and clenching your jaw begins with an examination by Chandler Periodontics. After the exam, we can determine the best method of treatment and implement a plan to protect your teeth, dentures, dental implants, All-on-4 implants or corrections made during the teeth in a day procedure. To schedule an examination, contact us today.

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