April 20, 2024
bruxism treatment

Bruxism Treatment: Effective Ways to Manage Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Causes of Bruxism

There are several potential causes of teeth grinding and jaw clenching which can lead to bruxism. The exact cause is often unknown, but common triggers include stress, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders like sleep apnea, sleep posture, genetics, and certain medications. Some people also clench or grind their teeth due to irregular bite alignment from misaligned or missing teeth. Identifying and addressing underlying causes can help reduce bruxism occurrence and severity.

Natural Treatment Options

There are some natural approaches that may help provide bruxism treatment:

Stress Reduction: Finding ways to unwind before bed such as relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga or deep breathing can help lower stress levels linked to teeth grinding.

Muscle Relaxation: Heat packs, massage, or biofeedback training can help relax facial muscles that become tense during Bruxism Treatment episodes. This makes jaw clenching or grinding less likely.

Posture Adjustment: Lying on the back while sleeping puts pressure on the jaw joint and makes bruxism more probable. Changing sleep position may offer relief.

Bite Adjustment: A mouth guard or night guard can protect teeth from damage by separating the jaws, making it harder to clench or grind. This also allows time for facial muscles to relax between episodes.

Diet and Supplements: Consuming calcium, magnesium and B vitamins through diet or supplements can support relaxation of facial muscles and reduce bruxism occurrence over time. Avoiding caffeine and limiting alcohol before bed may also help.

Mouth Guards for Teeth Protection

When natural remedies are not enough, the next line of defense is a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect teeth from damage during bruxism episodes. There are a few different types of mouth guards:

Soft mouth guard: Makes from a thermoplastic material that molds to the teeth. Provides basic protection but may not completely prevent grinding or clenching.

Hard mouth guard: Made of a stiffer acrylic material for stronger tooth protection. Can be thicker overall or reinforced in key contact areas.

Sports mouth guard: Specifically designed for sports use with a reinforcement bar or increased thickness in critical bite areas. May offer maximum protection.

For bruxism, a hard or sports-style guard is often most suitable as it maintains separation between upper and lower teeth better during grinding or clenching. Unlike soft types, it prevents full closure or prolonged heavy contact between teeth.

Other Dental Options

Beyond natural remedies and guards, dental treatments may include:

Occlusal adjustment: Dental grinding or selective enamel reduction minimally alters the bite alignment to remove potential factors causing or aggravating bruxism.

Bite splint therapy: Custom splints or orthotic devices worn during the day alter jaw alignment, retraining muscular patterns. This helps prevent grinding or clenching behaviors.

Botox injections: Botox temporarily weakens facial muscles like the masseter that become overactive during bruxism. This provides a few months relief from behaviors.

Dental restorations: Fillings, crowns or other restorations can realign and protect teeth damaged by grinding to avoid further complications.

Alternative and Complementary Options

For those seeking additional bruxism relief, complementary therapies may provide benefits:

– Acupuncture places thin needles in specific points to stimulate the nervous system, relaxing facial muscles.

– Massage therapy uses techniques like myofascial release focusing on jaw, neck and shoulder muscles that commonly tense with bruxism.

– Hypnosis or neurotherapy uses relaxation and guided imagery to reprogram responses in the subconscious mind linked to teeth grinding behaviors.

Finding Relief through Comprehensive Treatment

The most effective bruxism treatment management adopts a holistic approach, addressing both physical and non-physical triggers. Natural remedies provide initial relief, while custom guards protect teeth long-term. Seeking dental care tailors solutions, and alternative therapies offer complementary benefits. Consistency across options maximizes relief from damaging teeth grinding and improves quality of life.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it