The medical definition of Bruxism, according to the Mayo Clinic, is merely grinding, gnashing, or clenching your teeth either while awake or asleep. Bruxism Appliance Therapy involves mouth guards and other appliances to limit the potential damage caused by grinding.

Although most people with Bruxism don’t require treatment, it can cause significant damage to your teeth and jaw in extreme cases. If you sometimes grind your teeth, ask your dentist if it is affecting your teeth. Believe it or not, bruxism can even be a problem for denture wearers.

What Causes Bruxism?

The truth is that doctors aren’t sure exactly what causes bruxism. Most doctors believe the cause is a combination of genetic, physical, and psychological factors.

Bruxism also presents with other risk factors. Those can include personality type, age, and other mental and physical problems that make it worse.

Your dentist checks for signs of bruxism and may prescribe a mouthguard or other dental appliance to keep grinding from damaging your teeth.

Symptoms of Bruxism

There are several signs that you suffer from excessive teeth grinding, especially at night. You may wake up with a sore jaw or jaw muscles that don’t seem to want to work correctly.  Face, neck, jaw pain, an earache, or a mild headache originating in your temple region are also indicators. Sore or tender spots on the insides of your cheeks where chewing has caused rawness is another sign. If you find your sleep interrupted throughout the night, you may be grinding.

Your dentist may prescribe bruxism appliance therapy if they notice that bruxism is damaging your teeth. During every visit, your dentist does an oral exam in addition to x-rays and digital images of your teeth. They check for signs of bruxism.

Bruxism appliance can be as simple as using a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Your dentist will determine the degree of intervention you need based on many factors.

Bruxism Appliance Therapy

Although your dentist may recommend other methods to assist with decreasing your bruxism, the use of dental appliances is common. There are several types of occlusal splints, including mouthguards, night guards, and customized appliances. Splints are removable and are worn at night to limit the damage to your teeth.

Splints may be constructed of soft or hard material and generally covers all of your teeth. The purpose of the splint, or bite guard, is to keep teeth from being in direct contact, reducing damage. Although the most common use of bruxism appliances is for asleep bruxism, you may be instructed to use a mouthguard during the day if you grind while awake.

Ask Aesthetic Dental Group About Bruxism

If you think you may need intervention or treatment for teeth grinding, please contact Aesthetic Dental Group. Doctors John Cross and Monika Chan will get you on your way to having a healthy mouth. You can fill out the online contact request form or call our office at (732) 507-5007.