What is bruxism?
Bruxism is either the clenching or grinding of teeth, or both of them together. We will often recommend a mouth appliance to prevent damage to your teeth, and stress reduction to change the behavior.
It is usually a greater problem at night when one is unaware that they are doing it. Often the patient’s partner will be the first to notice it as they can hear the noise coming from the other side of the bed. It is commonly believed that this subconscious nighttime bruxism is due to stress and anxiety.
What damage does bruxism do?
Grinding can damage teeth by scraping and wearing away the surface. This can be a cosmetic problem, as teeth shorten and change shape, and can lead to sensitive teeth as the enamel becomes worn. Clenching can cause muscle strain and fatigue, earaches and headaches, and put severe stress on the hinge of the jaw, the temporomandibular joint.
How can Dental Associates of Delaware treat bruxism?
Our dentists at Dental Associates of Delaware will give you a thorough examination to see if your teeth or dental work has been damaged by the bruxing. Though there is no sure treatment for bruxism, it has been positively linked to stress and anxiety. We will probably suggest modifying your behavior to bring down the stress in your life. To prevent damage to your teeth, one of our dentists will prepare a custom-fitted plastic appliance for you to wear when you sleep. This won’t stop the bruxing, but the plastic of the appliance will prevent your top and bottom teeth from contacting each other.