TEETH GRINDING TREATMENTS
Bruxism, characterized by teeth grinding and jaw clenching, is a condition which can leave you with many painful side effects. The symptoms of bruxism include jaw pain, facial pain, tooth pain, earaches, and even neck and back pain. If you don’t treat bruxism, you may suffer tooth wear, tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, and other painful tooth damage. It is in your best interest to seek treatment as soon as possible rather than face long-term, irreversible damage due to teeth grinding. Fortunately, a variety of teeth grinding treatments exist to help control this condition and relieve pain. Selecting the right teeth grinding treatment option will depend on the side effects you suffer from and the root cause of your grinding.
Known Treatments For Teeth Grinding
Mouthguards are the most common form of teeth grinding treatment. These work by providing a protective barrier in between the teeth. Night guards are effective for many reasons:
- They encourage the jaw muscles to relax and stop clenching
- They provide a protective layer between the upper and lower teeth to prevent grinding
- They encourage the jaw to rest in a properly aligned position
The dentist recommended mouthguard is a custom fitted guard because it fits the exact features of the individual’s mouth. A mouthguard of the perfect fit does not allow for misalignment of the teeth. These guards are purchased directly from the dentist or from an online retailer and are crafted from professional and durable materials.
Another option for teeth grinding treatment is an over-the-counter night guard. These can be purchased from the local drugstore for as low as $20, but they do not provide the same protection as a custom-fitted dental guard. These generic guards do not fit the unique features of the individual and are not made from durable materials. For this reason, heavy grinders can chew through the guard easily.
Bruxism can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ or TMD) if left untreated. TMJ is characterized by the dysfunction of the jaw joint, which potentially leads to clicking/locking of the jaw joint, difficulty opening the mouth, and severe face and jaw soreness. TMJ dysfunction is often treated using a splint, which is a form of mouthguard crafted specifically for TMJ and is commonly called TMJ mouth guard. These come in many options: repositioning splint, stabilization splint, NTI night guard, and more. We recommend speaking with your dentist if you believe you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder.
In recent years, botox injections have been used to treat teeth grinding as well. This treatment involves botox injections (botulinum toxin) to the masseter muscles, which are the powerful jaw muscles responsible for chewing and clenching. The botox temporarily “freezes” these jaw muscles and forces them to relax, releasing the pressure built up from grinding and clenching. Studies find that this form of treatment is highly effective; however, the results are temporary. A facial plastic surgeon from New York, Dr. Liotta explains, “Pain relief from the procedure usually lasts about 6 months after injection”. By encouraging the jaw muscles to relax, botox can relieve facial pain and headaches as well.
- Dentist Night Guard vs. Over-The-Counter
- Does Dental Insurance Cover Night Guards?
- Will Insurance Cover Botox For TMJ?
Often, stress and anxiety trigger grinding. Due to this fact, relaxation techniques can be an extremely useful teeth grinding treatment. Some patients have found success in meditation and yoga. Additionally, acupuncture can help to relieve stress-induced teeth grinding pain. A study conducted on teeth grinders in 2007 found, “statistically significant reduction in face pain, neck pain, and headache” with acupuncture treatment. If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, using stress management and finding ways to relax will help put a stop to bruxism. Some medications such as muscle relaxants can help manage overactive sore jaw muscles as well.
Biofeedback is a behavioral therapy which relies on the idea that you can unlearn behaviors. It involves being connected to electrical activity centers which monitor your bodily functions for signs that you’re going to grind or clench your teeth. More research is necessary to confirm if this form of treatment is effective: “Biofeedback therapy holds the potential for inducing long-term changes in behaviour that could include reduction or elimination of symptoms. However, it remains unclear whether biofeedback is an effective method for treatment of bruxism” (2014).
VITAMINS & NUTRITION
Some vitamin deficiencies have been found to cause teeth grinding. Calcium and magnesium are closely related to muscle function and the nervous system, so a deficiency in either of these nutrients can trigger grinding. Vitamin deficiencies in Vitamin C, B-5, and more also sway stress levels, which can lead to grinding. A healthy diet should include all of these nutrients. If you think you may be deficient in any of these vitamins, consider taking supplements to introduce healthy levels of vitamins to your diet.
UNDERLYING CAUSES OF TEETH GRINDING
Although the exact cause is not known, research suggests there are multiple potential causes and risk factors for bruxism. Studies conclude that stress is one of the most common causes of bruxism. Additionally, there is a link between those who suffer from other sleep disorders and bruxers. This includes obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. Some antidepressants and other medications have been linked to teeth grinding and teeth clenching. Identifying which of these risk factors is causing your dental problems is an important step in treating your dental health and preventing further damage.
THE BEST SOLUTIONS TO TEETH GRINDING
Teeth grinding is a complicated behavior with several risk factors and symptoms. Identifying what caused your bruxism and the pain you suffer from as a result will help you choose the right teeth grinding treatment plan for you. Act as swiftly as possible to avoid permanent damage to your teeth and joints.
The millions of people who grind their teeth and suffer from its side effects are looking for an affordable, professional solution to the problem. If you are looking to protect your oral health, ProTeethGuard.com offers that solution by providing professional, custom-fitted mouth guards for teeth grinding directly from the same professional dental lab used by dentists. We offer a 110% money-back guarantee, so you can feel completely confident when you purchase from us.
- Adamiyatt, R. (2020). Botox may be the solution if you grind or clench your teeth. Town & Country. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/beauty-products/a31226190/botox-for-teeth-grinding-bruxism/
- Ilovar, S., Zolger, D., Castrillon, E., Car, J., & Huckvale, K. (2014). Biofeedback for treatment of awake and sleep bruxism in adults: systematic review protocol. Systematic reviews, 3, 42. https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-4053-3-42
- Shen, Y. F., & Goddard, G. (2007). The short-term effects of acupuncture on myofascial pain patients after clenching. Pain practice : the official journal of World Institute of Pain, 7(3), 256–264. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1533-2500.2007.00140.x