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Prevention and Treatment of Bruxism

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a common medical condition. Most people will likely experience it, in some form, at one point in their lives. The main characteristics of this condition are grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. These actions commonly occur during a person's sleeping hours, but may also occur during the day, mainly due to stress or anxiety. 

Bruxism treatment at the Berkeley Clinic

Here, at the Berkeley Clinic, we provide comprehensive diagnostic investigation enabling accurate diagnosis. We can carefully examine how your teeth bite together and analyse the condition of your jaw joint and occlusion. As the condition is multifactorial, there is no single method to treat bruxism, though a variety of helpful devices and tools are available. Teeth grinding can also be controlled or stopped using mouth guards, mouth splints and mandibular advancement devices.

Sleep Issues with Bruxism

Bruxism is a commonly known sleep disorder, the common symptoms of which are earaches, headaches, muscle pain and tooth discomfort. One way to address bruxism is to look at related sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea (aka sleep apnea). However, it can be challenging to know if you're grinding your teeth while sleeping, which can make it much harder to spot and then treat. Moreover, someone sleeping isn't aware of their bite strength so they may tightly clench and grind their teeth. Getting a good night's sleep may help reduce bruxism.

Treating tooth grinding

If you suspect you suffer from bruxism, you should start listing any symptoms before bringing them to your dentists' attention at your next dental check-up. They may want to perform a full exam to confirm any signs or symptoms and establish how they have occurred. The condition can pose serious problems for your jaw and teeth and may require treatment to reduce its impact.

Dental approaches to bruxism

In the interim, your dentist may wish to prescribe a mouthguard. This can relieve any damage that has already occurred to the surfaces of your teeth. Alternatively, they may want to perform the dental treatment to correct any problems related to tooth alignment.

  • Mouthguards: An acrylic mouthguard, designed from tooth impressions of your top and bottom teeth, will help minimise the abrasive action to tooth surfaces during sleep. These mouthguards should be worn on a long-term basis to help to stabilise the occlusion as well as prevent damage to teeth and the temporomandibular joint.
  • NTI-tss device: This type of device is fitted by a health professional and covers the front teeth. The goal of the NTI-tss is to prevent the grinding of the rear molars by limiting the contraction of the temporalis muscle.

 

Medications for Bruxism

  • Muscle relaxants. Your dentist may suggest a muscle relaxant before bedtime for a short time.
  • Anxiety or stress medication. You may be recommended the short-term use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. This will help you to deal with stress or other emotional issues that may be causing your bruxism.
  • Anti-wrinkle solution. Injected into the masseters reduces the signals between the muscles and nerves. The result is less active jaw muscles.

Self-help for teeth grinding

Some alternative methods for treating bruxism include relaxation exercises, stress management and education. We'd be happy to discuss stress reduction methods as another option if you haven't undertaken them before.

Hypnosis for Bruxism

Stop teeth grinding with hypnosis. Dr Mike Gow is a leading hypnotherapist with extensive experience and expertise in treating teeth grinding or bruxism. He is a highly trained dental hypnotherapist with a particular interest in dental anxiety management. But how can Mike aid you in tackling bruxism? Mike can help you to control and manage your teeth, grinding problems with a combination of techniques depending on your requirements. He can offer you a hypnosis appointment where your bruxism issues will be discussed.

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