Beat Bruxism with a Fairbanks Dentist

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Managing stress by using meditation or exercise can help to relieve stress, anxiety, and tension.

Managing stress by using meditation or exercise can help to relieve stress, anxiety, and tension.

Bruxism is a disorder in which grinding and or clench of the teeth occurs. Usually bruxism happens during sleep and can go undetected. Experiencing sore teeth and gums, having headaches and jaw pain, and noticing worn down teeth are all signs of bruxism. If any of these symptoms are noticed, contact a Fairbanks dentist to have a complete exam and discuss the available treatment options.

The cause of bruxism can sometimes be a mystery. There are many reasons that bruxism can occur. Some examples are: emotions like anxiety, tension, and/or stress, or possibly malocclusion which is the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. Bruxism can also be a response to pain or a medical ailments such as temporomandibular joint disorder. Although the cause may never be discovered, there are available treatments to prevent wear of the teeth and alleviate any pain that bruxism may cause.

Most bruxism treatment options are very conservative and can be done at home. If bruxism is being caused by everyday emotions then conscious awareness may be the best treatment. Managing stress by using meditation or exercise can help to relieve stress, anxiety, and tension. In some instances a muscle relaxer may be prescribed by the dentist to take at bedtime to help in relieving tension in the jaw muscles.

A night guard or splint may be the next best option to prevent bruxism. A night guard is made at the dental office by taking a few impressions of your teeth and creating a custom acrylic appliance that will disengage the jaw muscles therefore preventing the ability to clench or grind the teeth. For the most part, a night guard is the best and most common preventative measure that dentists suggest with the best results.

If malocclusion is the cause for bruxism, the treatment may be more invasive. Reshaping teeth to adjust the bite, or a referral to an orthodontist or an oral surgeon may be necessary.

In any case, start with a thorough exam by a Fairbanks dentist to begin treatment and to find relief of any discomfort caused by bruxism.