Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity which commonly occurs with many people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are GRINDING the teeth and CLENCHING of the jaw. These actions often occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but they also occur during the day.
Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders.
Why Should I Seek Treatment for Bruxism?
Gum Recession – Bruxism is a leading cause of gum recession and tooth loss. Grinding teeth can damage the soft tissue directly and lead to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria are able to colonize and decay the supporting bone.
Facial Pain – Grinding can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth. This can lead to muscle pain in the myofascial region and, in severe cases, incapacitating headaches.
Occlusal Trauma – The abnormal wear patterns on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the teeth can lead to fractures on biting surfaces, but also at the “necks” of the teeth near the gumline, which if left untreated, may require restorative treatment at a later time.
Arthritis – In the most severe cases, bruxism can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints that allow the jaw to open and close smoothly.
Links have been found between Bruxism and more systemic disorders, and we can help to evaluate you, and treat you, and/or refer you to the proper person in the Medical community.
Though there is no one cure for bruxism yet, there are a variety of devices and services available from our office to help treat bruxism.
Occlusal Guard – (Also sometimes known as nightguard.) This is an acrylic mouthguard is designed from teeth impressions to cover the biting surfaces of your teeth to minimize the abrasive grinding action during normal sleep. Mouthguards are expected to be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage and to help prevent TMJ disorders (jaw joint disorders).
This acrylic mouthguard can be designed from teeth impressions to cover the biting surfaces of your teeth to minimize the abrasive grinding action, while also supporting a joint that is already showing signs of derrangement (pain, popping, clicking, locking open or closed) Occlusal Orthotics are expected to be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage and to help heal TMJ disorders (jaw joint disorders),
Occlusal and TMJ stability
If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need further treatment after the joint is stabilized with appliance therapy. Treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics, and restorative dental work help correct functional problems.
If surgery is needed, Surgical options such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring are sometimes needed, but are reserved for severe cases. The doctors do not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and nonreducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.