Teeth grinding is a problem in adults and children and occasionally needs treatment. This treatment may involve stress management, behaviour therapy or construction of a mouthguard/splint to wear at night to protect the teeth.
Medication is not usually needed to treat bruxism but occasionally anti-inflammatory drugs may be necessary to relieve pain or inflammation around the jaw joint if the grinding is severe.
Bruxism can do a lot of damage to the teeth, jaw joint and facial profile, if it is severe and left untreated. It may result in broken teeth or lost fillings. It can cause fracture of a tooth that may result in a tooth being lost or it can cause shortening of the teeth. Shortening of the teeth will have a negative impact on the appearance of the teeth and can also affect how well the teeth and jaw joint function.
Treating the bruxism before there is significant shortening of the teeth may involve making a hard splint to wear at night time that will protect the teeth and fillings from the damaging effects of teeth grinding. Your dentist can advise you on this.
Stress or anxiety can often be a factor in teeth grinding, so stress management may be a suitable treatment for some patients. This often means relaxing before going to bed and getting a good night’s sleep. Managing stress may involve –
- Deep breathing
- Having a bath
- Listening to music
Tips for helping to avoid teeth grinding/bruxism
- Reduce stress
- Avoid stimulating substances in the evening
- Caffeinated tea/coffee
- Do not use recreational drugs
- Avoid chewing gum
- Avoid chewing pens/pencils and other non-food items
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Have regular dental check-ups to identify the signs of bruxism
Rosecourt, Muddy Hill, Mallow, Co. Cork
Tel. +353 (0)22 53717
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